Luke 22:63-71 Jesus is the Son of Man: Jesus First Trial

Luke 22:63-71

Jesus is the Son of Man

Jesus First Trial

 

All right, if you would, please turn with me in your Bibles to Luke chapter 22.

So previously in Luke chapter 22! So, we have seen Jesus be arrested and brought into custody in the middle of the night by the temple guards and Roman soldiers and brought to the home of the chief priests.

In an inexact correlation, the chief priest is kind of like the Chief Justice, the main leader of the Supreme Court and the Chief priest being the main leader of the Sanhedrin, the council and court of the Jewish people in the temple.

Last week, we took a brief aside from looking at the arrest and trials of Jesus to look at Peter and his denials of Christ as he was following the crowd as they took Jesus to the chief priest.

Today, we get back to Jesus and what is happening to him. Today we look at the first of three trials of Jesus.

 

So, let’s go ahead and read our passage, Luke chapter 22. Verses 63 through 71, the end of the chapter. I’ll be reading, as all of you know, out of the English Standard Version though I encourage you to grab what ever version of the Bible that you prefer reading, which ever version you understand most clearly and whichever translation helps you read the word of God for your self and get closer to him.

Without further ado, Luke 22:63-71, inspired by the Holy Spirit, the very Words of God himself:

 

Now the men who were holding Jesus in custody were mocking him as they beat him. 64 They also blindfolded him and kept asking him, “Prophesy! Who is it that struck you?” 65 And they said many other things against him, blaspheming him.

66 When day came, the assembly of the elders of the people gathered together, both chief priests and scribes. And they led him away to their council, and they said, 67 “If you are the Christ, tell us.” But he said to them, “If I tell you, you will not believe, 68 and if I ask you, you will not answer. 69 But from now on the Son of Man shall be seated at the right hand of the power of God.” 70 So they all said, “Are you the Son of God, then?” And he said to them, “You say that I am.” 71 Then they said, “What further testimony do we need? We have heard it ourselves from his own lips.”

 

 

Thus says the Word of God.

 

          So, the setting of this week’s passage was set back up in verse 54. The temple guards, the Roman soldiers, the servants of the chief priest, they arrest Jesus, they seized him and took him to the chief priest’s home.

And these first few verses seem to be in conjunction, time wise parallel to the passage last week of Peter in the courtyard. As it seems, Jesus is waiting for the assembly of elders, the chief priests and so on as they prepare for his trial. As he is waiting, he is being held in custody and as is common in storytelling, when an innocent man is held in custody, guards will often taunt, mistreat, abuse, mock the innocent prisoner as they are waiting. That’s what we see here.

These first three verses here, verses 63- 65, they show us how much humiliation and abuse Jesus was taking just at the beginning of this ordeal. And it was only getting started. Its only going to get worse through chapter 23.

They were mocking him, making fun of him and his position. They were blind folding him and hitting him, telling him, Prophecy who hit you! And laughing at him. Ironically, this call for him to prophecy who was hitting him was happening at the same time as a previous prophecy of Peter denying him was in the midst of coming true. These men were completely blaspheming him, as he was about to be on trial for and wrongly found guilty of blasphemy.

 

 

And he took it.

 

He absolutely took it. He didn’t act or respond how any of us would have responded. He didn’t yell for them to stop. He didn’t fight back. He didn’t struggle. He didn’t argue back at them. He is and was so much better than us.

We have to be careful how far we take this. WE are not Jesus. WE will not go through in this life what Jesus went through. Also, he was 100% completely sinless and in no way, shape or form deserved anything that happened to him. We are sinful creatures how receive mercy every single day. So, we have to be careful to not compare ourselves completely to Jesus.

However, Jesus did day that if the world hates us, it’s because they hated him first. And sometimes people will come at us, in many different ways. Sometimes it will be because we preach a truth that they don’t like. Sometimes it will be for untruths that they believe. Sometimes we receive unjust treatment, punishment or consequences when we were not guilty of what they are claiming.

When that happens, our first instinct is to lash out, to fight back. Our first reaction is to defend ourselves by any means necessary. But when that happens, I want to exhort you, that means stronger than encouraging, I want to exhort you to think back to Jesus and his actions in this moment and through the next few hours as he goes through these various trials and beatings and ultimately his crucifixion. Think about how he holds himself and responds to it all.

I’m not saying there are no times, places or methods to defend ourselves or the fight back when injustice is happening to us, please don’t hear that. There are absolutely times, places and methods. However, it is usually, if not always, never the way our first reaction indicates, or our instincts try to thrust us towards.

The key word is that we all too often lash out. We use the wrong done to us to justify the wrong we do to others, or the sin we commit in our heart and our actions. Our sin is never justified by the actions and wrongdoing of others.

 

Sit on that for a minute. When I wrote that, I needed to go back over it and ruminate on that. I hit hard.

 

So, as we move on, in verse 66, as the day came, Jesus was brought in front of the council, made up of the chief priest, scribes, elders and so on.

One real quick aside. I mentioned before, especially in the Upper Room that I want to focus on what’s Luke was focusing on when he wrote his Gospel. The four Gospels do not contradict each other, and they are all inspired as the Word of God.  But they all have different focusses. None of the four go through the trials of Jesus in their complete totality. So, there is a lot of information, nuance and events that we don’t see in Luke’s Gospel. But I want to focus on what Luke is focusing on. That being said, I want to make clear that, and this is not Luke’s focus at all, nothing about this trial was legal, moral, or done correctly or according to Jewish law and custom as laid out in the Law of Moses.

 

 

The main issue for this 1st trial comes in the two questions they ask. Are you the Christ? Are you the Son of God? They are not, of course, asking out of genuine curiosity. If they were, Jesus would have answered them much more plainly. Instead, they are asking to get his words, his admission on the official record.

It is interesting to me that three different titles for Jesus are used in this passage. The council uses the title Christ, or Messiah, and the title of Son of God. Jesus uses in his response that we will touch on in a moment, the Son of Man.

 

So, they ask him, Are you the Christ? Jesus says, even if I tell you, you won’t believe me. And that there is one of the key problems we see in the Gospels. People who ask but won’t listen to the answer. These men were blinded to the fact that Jesus really was the Christ. They knew that is what he was claiming. They knew that’s what he said. But they couldn’t believe it. Literally.

I can tell each of you here, I can tell everyone in Bangor that Jesus of Nazareth, Jesus of the Bible is the Christ, is the Messiah, is God and is the savior. And that is the job of everyone in this room, everyone listening to me right now, is to tell you friends, family, community who Jesus is. And some may respond in faith. But many wont. Many are blinded to this truth. Blinded by their sin. Blinded by their biases. Blinded by previous teachings they have been taught. Blinded by their own understanding.

Like the men on this council, they are not seeking truth, they are seeking answers to be put on the record. So, Jesus doesn’t give them what they want. By doing so, he fulfills another prophecy, in Isaiah 53:7. Instead he tells them that despite their unbelief, despite what they are about to do and what’s about to happen to him., the Son of Man reigns.

Jesus, the Son of Man, whom Daniel describes and writes about this way:

and behold, with the clouds of heaven
there came one like a son of man,
and he came to the Ancient of Days
and was presented before him.
14 And to him was given dominion
and glory and a kingdom,
that all peoples, nations, and languages
should serve him;
his dominion is an everlasting dominion,
which shall not pass away,
and his kingdom one
that shall not be destroyed.

 

That Son of Man, Jesus, he reigns. Right now, he is reigning in Heaven and over this earth. He reigns regardless of their belief or unbelief. Regardless of my belief or unbelief. Regardless of your belief or unbelief. I’m paraphrasing, but there is a saying that makes its way around online pretty commonly, and it says, the truth does not stop being true just because people don’t believe it. And Jesus is telling these men, in essence, the next time, our roles will be reverses, at the next trial, at the judgment of the living and the dead, it is I who will be judge.

 

The council was tired of running in circles. They wanted to finish this up so they could get Jesus in front of Pontius Pilate. Quit talking in circles and tell us plainly. Are you the Son of God, yes, or no?

And he says, you say I am.

Now, this is an affirmative answer. He is saying Yes. But he does so in a way that in the Greek language and culture is deflecting the responsibility back the question asker. He knows they are looking to get him on the record, they are looking for official testimony that they can use, and he won’t give it to him, even as he is answering their question.

At this point, they don’t care. None of the rest of the trial is legal or according to Jewish law anyway, so they take what he answered, and they use it to come up with the verdict they want.

He admits it! We heard it from his own mouth!

 

They recognized that he was indeed claiming to be the Son of God. They recognized that he was indeed affirming their accusations.

 

People can say and can genuinely be confused that “Jesus never claimed to be God.”  This is one of many texts that say differently. Now, I will say, especially in English, Jesus is not always as clear as we want him to be in this. As I said, some people can genuinely find this hard to see.

But Jesus was clear enough that those in his day knew clearly what he was saying and who he was claiming to be.

 

And who was he? Jesus was a real live historical person. There is more historical evidence for him than for Julius Caesar.

Jesus was the Son of God who came to redeem mankind. He came to reconcile us back to God. He came to bridge the divide that sin causes between us and God. And he did it by taking our justice, our punishment for the sins we have committed.

Each and everyone if us here. Each and every person born, with Jesus being the only exception, each and every person has sinned and been separated from God. Each and every person who has sinned deserves to pay the consequences of that sin, which is eternity in Hell, having the full, perfect, holy wrath of God poured out on them. The wages, meaning the payment for sin is death. That is what each and every single person here deserves, especially me.

And yet, God loved us in that while we were yet sinners, he sent his son to take that penalty, that that wrath, to substitute himself, in our place. He who knew no sin became sin so that we could become the righteousness of God. He died the death that we deserved. He took and absorbed the wrath that was justly and rightfully due to us. He paid our debt and bridged that gap for us, on our behalf.

And Jesus did this, not because we obeyed well enough. Not because we did the right thing. Not because our good outweighed our bad. Because none of that is true.

For it is by grace we have been saved, through faith. Gods grace poured out on us, through the vehicle of our faith in his son. And this is a gift, not because of us, but because of God and through God alone so that none of us may boast. And there is no name except Jesus by which we are saved. There is one mediator between God and man, Jesus Christ.

Those who are saved are saved by the grace of God alone, through Faith alone in his Son Jesus Christ alone. All of this is revealed in Scripture Alone and all of it done for the Glory of God alone.

As Jonathon Edwards famously said, we contribute nothing to our salvation except the sin that made it necessary.

Here’s the deal. If you have believed in the Son, then you get the Father. If you reject the Son, you reject the Father. That’s it. Nothing else you do matters.

You being here on Sunday mornings, or Wednesday mornings, or Thursday evenings or any other time of the week does not indicate that you are saved. You voting the right way does not mean that you are saved. You cheering for, believing in morals, family values, hard work, freedom, rugged individualism, ‘Merca, homeschool, capitalism, rural, small town, down homeness, Yay God! Cross or a fish on the back of your truck, bible knowledge, none of that plays one iota into whether or not you are saved. Period.

Some of that may or may not be fruit from your salvation, that’s not what I’m saying. But too many people in our community are banking on those things to fool themselves into thinking that they are saved. Many of them go to church. Many of them are not saved. Many of them will stand in front of God saying LORD LORD and he will say Depart for I never knew you.

 

 

Don’t let that be you. Repent of your sins and believe the Gospel. Accept the grace of God who gives you faith and put that faith in Jesus Christ and his finished work on the cross and him alone. Faith comes by hearing, Hearing by the Word of God.

You can’t make your friends, family, community believe. You can only control yourself. Show what repentance is, through faith, by showing people the change that takes place, the turning away form those sins that so easily entangle. Nothing we do saves us, but if we are saved, we won’t do nothing.

And then you can make sure that your family, friends and community were given the truth and chance to repent and believe.

 

Jesus calls us to that. To Repent and believe and love our neighbors as ourselves so that the thought of them not believing should be heartbreaking to us and should drive us to action.

WE are going to celebrate communion now. Because Jesus told the disciples in the upper room. I’m going to die. I’m going to do this and this sacrament, this thing we are about to do together, do it in remembrance of him. Do it to remind ourselves of what he did. Of the love he showed. Of the sacrifice he made and the pain and suffering he endured and the eternity in perfect heaven with Him that we receive as a result of it.

His blood shed on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins. His death satisfied the payment for our sins. His resurrection frees us from the chains of death and sin. His Holy Spirit changes us, from the inside out. He puts to death our old sinful nature and gives birth to our new selves so that our heart desires to learn more, to grow closer to him, to serve him, to grieve our sins and to live out his grace and his mercy.

Paul makes it clear in 1 Corinthians 11 that Communion is for those who are believers only. We don’t restrict this because we can not judge a heart. Only you can judge your heart. Please check your heart, search your soul. If you believe please join us in taking part of this solemn yet celebratory event. If you are not a believer, this will not make you one, nor will it save you at all. Don’t take this to fit in or to fool yourself. Take this in remembrance of Jesus Christ and us getting to enjoy eternity with him because of what he did.

 

Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 11:23-26:

For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body, which is for[f] you. Do this in remembrance of me.”[g] 25 In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

 

 

If I can have Mike and Frank come on up, we will get started, passing out the elements, wafers symbolizing the broken body of Christ and the juice symbolizing the shed blood of Christ.

We will pray before taking each element as a church family, brothers and sisters in Christ, united and brought together by the blood of Christ.

 

IT has been my honor to serve and worship and to grow with you all. Thank you.

 

 

Luke 22:54-62 Jesus is the Son of Man: Peters Denial

Luke 22:54-62

Jesus is the Son of Man

Peters Denial

 

All right! Turn with me, if you will, to Luke chapter 22. As always, if you do not have a Bible or are in need of a Bible, please see me after the service and we can get one into your hands.

So, as we saw last week, we are spending the next chapter and a half or so, the rest of chapter 22 and all of chapter 23 in the darkness. This is both physical and spiritual darkness.

To catch us up, Jesus, celebrating Passover in the Upper Room with the 12 disciples, took his last opportunity to teach and prepare the disciples. Jesus told them that he would be betrayed, and he was. He told them that he will be killed and that is the institution of the new Covenant, and we are going to see that happen here.

When the disciples heard that, they didn’t like that. They had a history of not understanding, whether purposely or not, when Jesus said he had to die. Peter tried to stand in the way of it back when he confessed Jesus as the Christ, and Jesus called him out for trying to interfere with Gods plans. And here, Peter is one of the ones that promises Jesus that he is willing to die for him or go to prison for him. Jesus calmly tells him, No. In fact, this very night, you will deny me three times before the rooster crows.

Jesus and his disciples left the upper room, went to pray in the solitude of the garden for a bit and then a group led by Judas the betrayer comes up to them and are ready to take Jesus into custody. There was a brief skirmish that Jesus settles down pretty quickly and that’s where we pick up with this morning’s passage.

Today we are going to look at Luke chapter 22, verses 54 through 62. Ill be reading out of the English Standard Version. I do encourage you to grab your preferred translation and follow along as we read the word of God.

Luke 22:54-62, Luke, inspired by the Holy Spirit, records:

 

Then they seized him and led him away, bringing him into the high priest’s house, and Peter was following at a distance. 55 And when they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat down among them. 56 Then a servant girl, seeing him as he sat in the light and looking closely at him, said, “This man also was with him.” 57 But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know him.” 58 And a little later someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.” But Peter said, “Man, I am not.” 59 And after an interval of about an hour still another insisted, saying, “Certainly this man also was with him, for he too is a Galilean.” 60 But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about.” And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. 61 And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the saying of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times.” 62 And he went out and wept bitterly.

 

 

Thus says the Word of God.

 

          So, the temple guards seize and arrest Jesus. He is now in their official custody. They lead him away from the garden, back into Jerusalem and to the home of the chief priest, the head of the Sanhedrin. The Sanhedrin was the top group of religious leaders and decision makers among the Jewish people. They were the political elite of our day, the religious elite of their day.

And it’s interesting that they brought Jesus first to the Chief priest’s home and not to any of the Roman officials, at least not yet. This will help show the illegitimacy of the arrest of Jesus and his upcoming trials. But we will start getting into that more in the next few weeks.

So, one of the interesting things is that, at this point, we don’t know what happened to at least 9 of the twelve disciples. All we know is that the scriptures say they scattered. The other Gospels tell later what happened to Judas. And we presume, based on what happens later that John is running to go get Mary, Jesus’ mother. But in this pretrial and trial period of time, the only disciple that we have named in any way is Peter.

Peter is following the temple guards who arrested Jesus and are leading him to wherever they were going. He is following them at a distance, showing, at least more than the others, some boldness and bravery. However, he is showing it from a distance, in the dark, when its not physically costing him anything.

Now, it is likely that, as people were out that night, they would have seen and unusual scene. They would have seen this man being led through the streets by the temple guards and some Roman soldiers. This would not have been an everyday occurrence, at least I wouldn’t think so.

There would have been a lot of talk and speculation as to who and why this man was being arrested. They may have recognized Jesus as the one who was arrested. But the commotion, the something happening, something different would have drawn a crowd for sure.

Just like a car accident can cause issues in traffic, even if the wreck is not on the road, it can cause slow traffic and rubber necking, that same sort of mindset, human nature can cause crowds to gather and hang around and try to find out what’s going on.

Because it was at night, it was cool and dark. The crowd gathered outside the chief priest’s home, in the courtyard, and they started a fire to stay warm and to have some light. And Peter joins this crowd, trying to keep warm, trying to blend in, hoping no one notices him. Maybe he is trying to sneak closer. Maybe he is trying to get more information. Regardless, he is in the courtyard of the home where Jesus was taken, and he is obviously nervous.

Now, v 56, a servant girl sees him in the fire light. She says to someone, or everyone, Hey, that guy right there. He was with that guy they just paraded through here!

Peter’s response, Nope, I wasn’t with him!

 

 

And there is no indication of what his tone of voice was here.

 

We get here 3 accusations of Peter’s association with Jesus. We get 1 eyewitness, the servant girl; “He was with him!” WE see I direct, face to face accusation. “You were with him!” And we get a guy using corresponding evidence, whether its circumstantial or not, “You have a Galilean accent, just like his followers!”

And we see Peter deny each of these instances. Now, my question is why? Why did Peter deny it? Well, there are a couple of options. First, the obvious and often given answer is that he feared for his life. By why was he afraid for his life? He wasn’t arrested in the garden. The guards had no interest in him. They were only interested in Jesus.  If they wanted him, they would have had plenty of reason, after cutting off the servant’s ear and all that. But they just took Jesus and left.

So, its possible that Peter was worried that the crowd that gathered would identify him as an accomplice of the criminal that was just arrested and form a mob against him. He could also be worried that he would be chased away from where Jesus was and wouldn’t be able to gather any more information.

Regardless of the reason, regardless of what was going through Peters mind, three times someone confronted, accused, asked, that Peter was with and had known and was a follower of Jesus. And three times Peter denied knowing, having been with or following Jesus.

Immediately after Peter gave the third denial, the rooster crowed, fulfilling exactly what Jesus said would happen. Now, these three denials took place over the course of a couple of hours. Because of that, its possible that Jesus was being led out of the chief priest’s home on his way to the next trial or destination. The reason I say this is because Luke records that when Jesus heard the rooster crow, he looked directly at Peter.

We don’t know exactly what the look was. Was it forgiveness? Love? Acknowledgement? Disappointment? Pain?

Honestly, we don’t know. And honestly, it doesn’t matter. The fact is that Jesus knew exactly where peter was and the moment the rooster crowed, he looked directly at him and the way that it reads, Peter saw Jesus look at him and that look triggered the memory of what Jesus had told him hours before in the Upper Room.

What Jesus says will come true. He knows what is coming and he proved it to Peter. Peter would never forget that moment.

 

So, I want to look for a moment at how Peter is an example for us to be aware of.

Peter was a man who was full of pride. He was quick to react. He was quick to talk. That would end up serving him well in the future, but it could also get him in trouble. Part of that was his pride. 20 plus verses earlier, he told Jesus I will go to jail, and I will die for you! And he thought, he believed that he could back that up.

But he was also neglectful of his prayer time. Jesus told him in the garden, pray so that you will not enter into temptation. And instead, Peter fell asleep.

One commentator writes that this put Peter into the most vulnerable position one can be in: “Prayerless but full of presumption.” And in that position, Peter gave in to temptation. He gave in to temptation in the garden with his impulsivity in attacking the servant and cutting off his ear. He gave into temptation when he, three times, denied Jesus on this night.

Peter thought he could follow Jesus and that he could do it on his own and through his own power and ability.

 

We are not saved by our actions. Period. Full Stop. Our actions, our behavior, our morals, our anything cannot save us, at all.

However, it is our actions and our behavior that testify to and show our faith.

 

WE can say, I love you Jesus! But if we don’t act on that, if we don’t live that out, then, do we really?

We can be ready to acknowledge our faith and live it out in church, or around fellow Christians but are we ready to do so out in the world, for all to see?

Philip Ryken says it this way: “The true test of discipleship is our witness to the world, not and not just the promises we make to God.”

 

It seems to me, that Jesus had two reasons why he prophesied or predicted or whatever you want to call it, that Peter would deny him three times. First of course, is that he knows all. He knows it before it happens, and he proved it by saying this unthinkable would happen and then having it occur exactly how he said it would happen.

Second, I see in this, Jesus telling us to not make promises that you can’t and won’t keep. Don’t make promises that depend on your own strength and ability. James, the brother of Jesus touches on this in his letter later in the Bible. James 4:13-17, he writes:

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— 14 yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. 15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. 17 So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.

 

 

Peter didn’t think there was any chance of deny Jesus. He thought he would do anything and everything to protect Jesus, not knowing that what was going to happen needed to happen and was the will of God.

Jesus knew it all. He knew Peters sins before Peter committed them. He knew before hand, and he forgave him. He knew Peters sins beforehand and he gave Peter directions, instructions for afterwards. Remember back in this chapter back in verse 32, Jesus was saying to Peter, And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.

He was telling Peter, you will sin. After you do, after you repent and turn again back to me, use this experience, use your former sins and use your repentance to be an example and use it to strengthen your brothers.

 

Look, if Peter can fall, if he can sin this grievously, then any of us can. But, if Peter can be forgiven, if Peter can be restored and if Peter can be used by God, then any of us can.

Peter is a warning to us all, that any of us can and will mess up. We can and will sin. But Peter should also be a balm to us and should give us a sense of security.

 

After all of this, Peter went off and wept bitterly. We know that he was repentant because of what Jesus said earlier, that he would, and based on how Peter would respond and react and how he would go out and publicly spread the Gospel after the ascension of Jesus.

There is a big difference in “wishing he had never sinned,” which is a good description of what we see from Judas after all this, and truly repenting, which we see with Peter. Paul writes about the difference in 2 Corinthians 7:10:  For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death. 

 

Have your sins ever brought you to tears, like they did Peter? Whatever the look that Jesus Gave Peter in the courtyard was, what it accomplished was much more important. Peter saw, in that look, how bad and how serious his sins were. He saw that it was his sins that were going to send Jesus to the cross.

Peter saw that and he wept bitterly over his sins. IF we have an accurate and a right understanding of our sins and how devastating they are, how heinous they are, even the itty bitty ones that don’t affect any one and no one knows about, even those sins, each and every single one of them tears apart our relationship with God and separates us from him, if we truly know that and understand that, it should drive us to weep bitterly as well.

But if that’s all it does, it is simply the worldly sorrow that Paul mentions. But if it causes us to turn again, if it brings us to repentance, to change and to lean wholly and completely on Jesus Christ and him alone, then there is a good result from what happened.

We see the change in Peter, we see how he responds to this night. We see him going from three denials of Jesus to Jesus telling him three times on the beach that he loves him, reassuring him of his forgiveness and standing before God. We see Peter going from public denials of Jesus to the public preaching o the Gospel, repent, belief and be baptized in the beginning of the book of Acts.

Jesus first words of public ministry, back in Mark 1, Repent and believe for the Kingdom of God is at hand. And he keeps preaching that same message through his earthly ministry, through his arrest here to Peter, through his crucifixion, to the thief on the cross and after his resurrection, sending his Apostles out to preach the very same message, making disciples of all nations.

So, this is my message to you, the message that Jesus preaches. Repent and believe for the Kingdom of God is at hand.

 

Let’s Pray.

 

 

 

 

Lord God, We can and will lose anything that is dependent in us. Thank you God, Father, that our salvation is not dependent on us, but that it is solely, 100% dependent on you and your faithfulness.

Thank you or the gift of faith. Thank you for the gift of repentance. Thank you for the gift of forgiveness.  Help us to recognize our sins, and how devastating they are. Help us to repent and to believe and to go out and show our faith by our actions, depending solely and completely on you, Jesus and you alone.

 

Luke 22:39-46 Jesus is the Son of Man: Praying in the Garden

Luke 22:39-46

Jesus is the Son of Man

Praying in the Garden

 

All right let’s turn in our Bibles to Luke chapter 22. As we continue through this last night of Jesus life, we look both back at what has brought us to this point, and ahead to what is coming next. And of the group of people we are looking at, only Jesus knew what was coming.

Jesus had spent the evening with his disciples, eating the Passover Meal, showing them that what he would end up doing would be the ultimate and final fulfillment of the Passover.

He instituted communion, ushering in the New Covenant. He was teaching them and giving them last minute instructions. He reassured them that even when they sinned and fell, that he would be right there with them, and that they are still his. He showed Peter that he would deny Jesus three times before the rooster crowed that next morning. And he especially warned them that hard times were coming, but that none of it would be a surprise to God and that he would be with them through it.

Jesus did all this already knowing that Judas had set in motion the events that would lead to his arrest and his crucifixion. Luke doesn’t record it, but Jesus ends his time with the disciples in the Upper Room with what’s called the High Priestly Prayer, which Frank read a part of this morning. I encourage you to go back and read John 17 when you get the chance, see his public prayer before he and the disciples leave, and we see this morning his private prayers to the God the Father.

So, let’s go ahead and read this morning’s passage, Luke chapter 22, verses 39 through 46. Ill be reading out of the English Standard Version and I encourage you to grab your preferred translation and follow along as we read the Word of God.

Luke 22:39-46, The Holy Spirit inspires Luke to record the following.

And he came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. 40 And when he came to the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” 41 And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, 42 saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” 43 And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. 44 And being in agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.[g] 45 And when he rose from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping for sorrow, 46 and he said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation.”

 

 

May God Bless the Reading of His Holy Word.

 

 

So, Jesus and his friends leave the Upper Room, and they actually would leave Jerusalem itself as well. They weren’t actually staying the week in Jerusalem. Instead, as we saw at the end of chapter 21, they were staying just outside the city, as they lodged n the Mount called Olivet, or the Mount of Olives.

So, they left the mean and their time in the Upper Room, and they made their way out of Jerusalem. This, unlike they location of their Passover meal, was not a secret. Judas, of course, knew where they would be headed, and we will see that next week. This is where they would go each and every night.

One of the things we can see in this, not the main point of course, but something that is modeled to us here is that Jesus has a routine. He has a regular way that he did things, when he was able. HE was orderly, scheduled and followed a routine.

There were things that he would not let fall by the wayside. Things that were too important to let things (even good and important things) get in the way of.

We see in scripture, that for Jesus, and there fore should be for us, that he makes a priority and makes sure is part of his routine is prayer time with God the Father. And not only public, group prayer like we see in John 17 before they leave the Upper Room, though of course, that is important and good, but uninterrupted, undistracted, specifically set aside time with the Father.

As they got to the Mount of Olives, Jesus went to pray. He went into the Olive Grove, and this seems to be something that he had done often this week. I think it’s a safe presumption to think he did this each night.

Every night when they returned from Jerusalem, he went to the place, the Garden of Gethsemane, to spend time with and pray to God the Father.

In verse 40, he tells the disciples, and the other Gospels make it clear that he is specifically talking to the inner three, Peter, James and John. He tells them Pray so that you do not enter into temptation. And we see, not for the last time, that Luke is focusing much more on Jesus and his prayer than on the disciples and their failings.

Jesus then goes a short way off and prays by himself. In those days, most people stood as they prayed. Here, Jesus, showing the solemnity and seriousness of the moment, kneels and prays. And he prayed hard. Its entirely possible that one of the reasons he kneeled was because of the physical exertion that the prayer was taking.

Now, Jesus had a full, complete Human Nature. But He also had a full, complete Divine Nature. That Human Nature was praying about what was going to come next.

He knew the sacrifice that was coming. He knew the physical pain that was about to happen. He knew the wrath and the separation of God that was on its way, just for him. He knew, as many commentators call it, “The horror of the cross.” He knew what was coming and his human nature did not want to go through it.

God, if there were any other way that we could accomplish what I came to accomplish. If there were any other way to atone for the sins of the chosen. If there were any other way to purchase forgiveness for those who have saving faith. Father, if there were any other way, please let this cup pass from me!

 

But Jesus, in his God Nature, knew the plan from the beginning, because he was part of the planning, as one third of the trinity, the persons, one God. As that, he knew there was no other way. He knew that what was more important than the wants of his human nature & will was Gods nature & will.

This is very easy for those of us who are Christians or have grown up in the church, learning this often, it can be easy to know this intellectually. That more important than our will and nature is Gods will & nature. But it can be so hard to apply, as we see here.

Our human nature & will are at war with Gods will and nature. They have been since in the first garden. Adam’s will overcame what he knew God wanted for Him.  His Will “won.” And with sin now as a part of our nature, it has been at war with Gods nature & will ever since.

We know how God calls us to live.

We know what God calls us to do.

We want to do those things and, ideally, live that way.

But that often means stepping out of our comfort zone.

It may mean upsetting our family, telling them the truth.

It may mean losing friends, changing who we used to be.

It may mean offending others, refusing to go along with everyone else and keep the peace.

Instead, it’s a lot easier to convince ourselves that we are, in fact, being faithful to God without doing those things he has clearly told us to do. “I’m the exception.” “God knows my heart.” “If you knew my situation…” “He hasn’t called me to that…” “I’ve already done it so I might as well keep doing it…”

 

IF we truly desire and are committed to His will, it means not our will. It means we die to self. It means we live for his desires, not ours. If we truly desire it, he will help us.

It won’t look the same in every person or every circumstance, but he will help us.

We see in verse43 how he helped Jesus that night. This moment, which is only recorded in Luke’s Gospel, shows an angel coming down and strengthening Jesus, helping him to seek Gods will first, to help him, like he told the disciples in verse 40, “not enter into temptation.”

This angel giving him strength does not make it easy, it helps make it possible. How and when he helps us, it will not be to help make it easy, but to help us be strong enough to move forward and to make it possible.

We see, even after the angel comes down, Jesus is still in agony. Such agony that his sweat was like great drops of blood.

Now, two things. First, Jesus’ agony. Let’s be clear. The word itself, in the original Greek, Jonathon Edwards says, “implies no common degree of sorrow, but such extreme distress that his nature had a most violent conflict with it, as a man that wrestles with all his might with a strong man.”

So where is Jesus’ agony from or directed towards?  The Puritan, Richard Baxter wrote, “His agony was not from the fear of death, but from the deep sense of Gods wrath against sin; which he as our sacrifice was to bear; in greater pain than mere dying.”

Of course, Jesus wasn’t afraid of dying, in and of itself. He knew what was on the other side. He also knew that it would not stick. But he knew what it was going to take. He knew what was in his cup. He knew the full wrath of God was going to be poured down on him and him alone.

He alone knew what that meant. We can hear that and think, ok, that’s not going to feel good, but we have no actual sense of what Gods wrath will be like. Jesus knew. And it was causing him agony.

To the point where Marks Gospel says his soul was very sorrowful, even to death. To the point where Jesus was sweat was like great drops of blood.

There is a real, documented medical condition where a human body can be under such extreme stress that the veins near the sweat glands burst and so the human body does in fact, literally sweat blood. That’s what it appears happened this neat to Jesus in the garden while praying to God.

The language is not crystal clear if it was this or that he was sweating in in a way that made the sweat thick and pouring out of him as blood would.

 

As Jesus was agonizing through his prayers, we see, especially in the other gospels, the disciples couldn’t stay awake. They couldn’t stay focused. They didn’t know what was at stake or what was going to happen. They couldn’t be bothered to pray as Jesus instructed because that was not their priority.

Verse 46, Jesus reiterates his command to them, pray to avoid temptation. Again, as I said earlier, we see Luke’s emphasis and focus are on Jesus and his prayer instead of the disciples and their failings.

 

But in that, in the glimpse of the disciples’ failures, combined with Jesus’ prayer and agony, we see so much. Jesus knew what was coming for him. And we have no idea. We get only glimpses of the wrath of God in scripture and in our lives.

Trust, no matter how bad it’s been, and some people have it incredibly bad, it is nothing compared to the wrath that Jesus willingly took and that awaits those who refused to turn to him in faith.

Jesus took the wrath, absorbed it all and do so because the love of God is all encompassing and love covers a multitude of sins. He willingly absorbed the full wrath of God so that those who believe, who may be called sons and daughters of God may be spared the wrath of God. He took the wrath we so justly and rightly deserved so that we may experience eternal communion with him and the forgiveness of our sins, past, present and future, once and for all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charles Spurgeon, preaching on this passage said this:

“Since it would not be possible for any believer, however experienced, to know for himself all that our Lord endured in mental suffering and hellish malice, it is clearly beyond the preacher’s capacity to set it forth to you. Jesus himself must give you access to the wonders of Gethsemane: as for me, I can but invite you to enter the garden.”

 

We can’t know what Jesus went through, not completely and not in any real sense. But its important to know, as much as we can. Because that’s the only way that we can truly know and appreciate everything that Jesus did.

As one commentator writes:

Its not just that Jesus died for me, but that he died this horrible, damnable, God-forsaken death that no one would ever want to die. He died this death because there was no other way for sinners to be saved, no easier road to redemption, no alternatives to the cross. Jesus thus volunteered to do what the Father willed, choosing to do the one thing that would bring the most suffering to his body and soul”

It is not that Jesus died for us. IT is not that we should feel bad for what he went through. It wasn’t that God was touched and moved by Jesus sacrifice that he magically decided, “Ok! Sins are done!” None of that. The garden is not a prescription to pray harder and want it bad enough and God will send an angel to strengthen us.

I’m going to finish with a quote on this passage from Phillip Ryken:

 

This must always be the main lesson we learn whenever we go to the Garden of Gethsemane. Luke does not show us the agony of Jesus to arouse our pity, primarily, or simply to remind us of our Savior’s humanity, but to help us see the love that Jesus has in dying for our sins. We will never have to suffer what our Savior suffered in Gethsemane, or at Calvary, for the very reason that everything he suffered there was in our place, on our behalf. The first response we make to Jesus should always be faith in the saving work he did in suffering and dying as our substitute. The lesson of Gethsemane in not that Jesus suffers with us, but that he suffered for us!

 

 

 

 

I lied; I’m actually going to finish with Romans 5:8-11. Paul writes:

 

but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

 

 

 

Let’s Pray.

 

 

 

Luke 22:24-38 Jesus is the Son of Man: The Future is not what You think

Luke 22:24-38

Jesus is the Son of Man

The Future is not what You think

 

          All right! Let’s turn in our Bibles to Luke chapter 22. As always, if you do not have a Bible, or are in need of a Bible, please see me after the service and I will work to get one into your hands.

So are in the last hours of Jesus’ last day before being crucified. Jesus and his disciples, the Twelve to be specific, are eating the Passover meal in an Upper Room of the home of one of Jesus followers. Hence, this section of teaching by Jesus is called the Upper Room discourse.

Luke doesn’t share as much about this discourse as some of the other Gospel writers, but there is a lot there, a lot here to unpack. Last week we saw Jesus institute the first communion and show that he was the final and ultimate fulfillment of the Passover.

Because of the importance of this section of teaching, Jesus made sure that they would not be interrupted during this time. Jesus knew that Judas was planning on betraying him and had in fact already made the plans with the chief priests. He was planning on turning Jesus over to the religious leaders when there were not crowds of people around to cause a stir and to do something to the religious leaders. The Passover meal would have been a perfect time, but Jesus made sure that this wouldn’t happen, as he Peter and John make the plans and preparations in secret. Jesus had much too important things to do, to teach, to say to be interrupted this evening.

With that, lets go ahead and read this morning’s passage, Luke chapter 22, verses 24 through 38. As always, Ill be reading out of the English Standard Version though I encourage you to grab your own, preferred translations and follow along as we read the Word of God.

Luke 22:24-38, inspired by the Holy Spirit, Luke records the following words of Jesus:

A dispute also arose among them, as to which of them was to be regarded as the greatest. 25 And he said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those in authority over them are called benefactors. 26 But not so with you. Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves. 27 For who is the greater, one who reclines at table or one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at table? But I am among you as the one who serves.

28 “You are those who have stayed with me in my trials, 29 and I assign to you, as my Father assigned to me, a kingdom, 30 that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

31 “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you,[d] that he might sift you like wheat, 32 but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” 33 Peter[e] said to him, “Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death.” 34 Jesus[f] said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster will not crow this day, until you deny three times that you know me.”

35 And he said to them, “When I sent you out with no moneybag or knapsack or sandals, did you lack anything?” They said, “Nothing.” 36 He said to them, “But now let the one who has a moneybag take it, and likewise a knapsack. And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one. 37 For I tell you that this Scripture must be fulfilled in me: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors.’ For what is written about me has its fulfillment.” 38 And they said, “Look, Lord, here are two swords.” And he said to them, “It is enough.”

 

Thus says the Holy Word of God.

So, the last thing we saw Jesus say last week was that one of the twelve, one of the ones that were there with them, one of them would betray Him. The text says that the disciples began to question one another which it would be.

I believe that discussion, or questioning, or whatever, directly led and helped cause this first part of the text this morning. The disciples start arguing, at some point that evening, over who is the greatest. Again, I believe this stems directly from “Who’s going to betray Jesus? Certainly not I? probably Him…”

And you can just picture the ridiculousness of this.

“I did this so I’m greater!”

“I led more people to Christ so I’m greater!”

“I gave more money so I’m greater!”

“I baptized more people so I’m greater!”

“I led worship or served in this capacity so I’m greater!”

And so on and so on…

Its amazing how quickly we fall back on our base human nature. This is not a new argument between these guys. It has happened at least twice before that we have recorded in Luke’s Gospel, back in chapters 9 & 10. We do the same thing, going back time and time again to the same sins, the same temptations, the same weakness come back to haunt us.

If we have a conflict with someone, we can see that through our life, we often keep coming back to that same conflict. It may be years in between. Both you and the other person may genuinely believe that it is all behind you both, but then something strikes the match and it flairs right back up again.

That’s what we are seeing in the disciples with this argument right here. And of course, this is natural, human nature, sinful attitudes. Striving to be seen and known as the greatest. I am better than…
Jesus, of course, rebukes this attitude. He says this is how the world thinks. This is how the world acts. The unbelievers and the unregenerate. This is how the worldly Kings act and live. I’m better than everyone and so they must serve me. They sit on their throne and make everyone do everything for them. And then, get this! They act like they are doing it for the good of the people they are ruling over! Doesn’t sound modern or timeless at all…

And of course, we know, as Jesus has told, in a variety of ways, their reward is here and now. Don’t be like them. Don’t be wrong in the way that they are wrong. Don’t settle for earthly, temporary rewards. Don’t act spoiled, entitled, don’t act betta’ then.

Is Jesus acting that way? The Messiah, The son of God. The Christ, God in the Flesh. IS he acting this way? If he is not acting like this, why would we? If he is not acting this way, why would the disciples? Instead, act and lead and serve with humility, with true humbleness.

Jesus continues, and he says, don’t worry. I see you. I see your faith. I see your service. I see your loyalty. And though you may not see here and now your rewards and the benefits, I see you and I have rewards waiting for you in Heaven as you will serve in the Kingdom of God. You will be eating, drinking, sitting, serving at the wedding feast of the King and you will have responsibilities and authority then.

 

Then Jesus turns to Peter and says his name twice. Simon, Simon. This emphasizes the importance of what he is about to say. Jesus says that Satan has been asking, demanding to have you.

Two things here. First, this is a crystal-clear allusion as well to Job chapter 1, Satan wanted to have Job. And again, Satan has to ask or demand, he cannot just do or take. He has no power except what God allows or grants.

Second, the word Jesus uses here when he says you is the plural. Not to try and make light of it, but how we would understand it is that Jesus said Satan demanded to have y’all, or you all. He wasn’t talking individually to Simon Peter. He was talking to all the disciples.

But Jesus is talking to Simon Peter individually in verse 33. Jesus prayed for him, that his faith would not fail and that he would learn from his failings and use those to encourage and build up his brothers.

Jesus has a hold of Peter. Those he has a hold of, those who are in Christ and with him will never be taken away, will never be without him and will never lose him. WE will see over the course of this chapter that Peter will fail. He will sin, he will deny Jesus three times as Jesus will tell him in a moment.

But Jesus says, once you have turned again, once you have repented, once you have turned back away from sin, and turned back to follow Jesus, use that. Use it to strengthen and build up your fellow believers. Use it to teach and enrich each other’s faith and walk. Use it to encourage and edify your brothers.

Simon Peter was hearing what Jesus said and was probably still thinking about Jesus saying that one of them would betray them. HE responds to Jesus, “I will follow you to prison or to death, no matter where, no matter what, no matter the cost!”  He says, Ill follow, Ill I’m committed, I’m loyal. Don’t worry about me Jesus!

Jesus tells him, I know who you are. I know what you will do. I know that you will fail, you will sin, you will let me down. I know when, I know where and I know how.

Remember this, Jesus already knows. We should be worried about our sin. We should feel bad about it. We should feel convicted of it, and we should work to change it. Our sin is a big deal, and it is, as we focused on last week, what nailed Jesus to the cross. But we also remember what Romans 8:1 says, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Our sin does not take Jesus by surprise. IT does not change his mind. It is finished and already forgiven. That of course does not excuse our responsibility, but it is important to remember that Jesus already has it dealt with. He knew what we would do. He knew what our sin would be. When, how often, all of it. And he still chose to go to the cross for the forgiveness of that sin.

Jesus tells Peter, you will deny me three times before the sun rises, specifically before the rooster crows. Three times, you will deny that you are a follower of Jesus of Nazareth.

Jesus returns to talking to the whole group of the disciples. He reminds them of some of the times that Jesus has sent them out to spread the word and to share about Jesus. One such example was back in Luke 10:1-12.

HE asks them, when I sent them out, did you lack anything? I hear their reply as them answering tentatively, No…

Jesus tells them, its not going to be that easy anymore. You are going to have to be prepared for what is to come. The individual items that he mentions are principals and examples, not the literal items themselves. And we will see this play later on in the Garden of Gethsemane as Jesus is being arrested.

But these items Jesus lists are representative of the disciples being prepared, of them being aware of the obstacles and the dangers that will arrive. It is so that the disciples will look ahead and not be taken by surprise. Again, none of it will be a surprise to Jesus and he is trying to warn his friends. They are not only to be harmless as doves, but also, remember, as wise as serpents. The going is gonna get tough, no doubt, and that’s what Jesus is trying to communicate to them.

And Jesus tells them the reason for the change. He says I will, and I must fulfill what it says in Isaiah 53:12. He was numbered with the transgressors.

Jesus was incarnated, was God made flesh, in part so that he could identify with sinners. This would be the hardest thing he would have to do. When he hung on that cross, he was hung with two criminals, two transgressors and when he gave his spirit up, the father looked down and counted him as a sinner, poured his wrath out on Jesus. Jesus identified with us so that he could absorb that wrath that was justly meant for us.  Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 5:21: For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

          Now, the disciples continue to be who they are and help us to not feels as bad as we could. They entirely miss the point in the moment of what Jesus was saying. They tell him, look, look, we not only have a sword, but we have two swords!

They are, of course, referencing the figurative statement Jesus made a few moments ago about selling their cloaks to buy swords. But, I believe, they are also saying to Jesus, we won’t let them “number you with the transgressors. We will stop them with force if needed.

Jesus “It is enough.”

Jesus is not saying that those two swords are enough, or even that their dedication or attitudes are enough. Instead, what he was saying is that this is enough of that sort of talk. Colloquially, “I give up.” That’s how much the disciples were missing his point.

Jesus didn’t want to spend this time arguing with his closest friends. He didn’t want to spend this special time trying to explain and convince them of something they wouldn’t understand.

Instead, Jesus was going to focus on going to pray, which is what we are going to see next week.

Now, I want to go back for a moment. Back to Jesus quoting Isaiah 53:12, saying that he would fulfill what it says, that he would be numbered with the transgressors. That statement is followed by two more statements in Isaiah as well. First, that he bore the sins of many. Second, that he makes intercession for transgressors.

That’s three things we see right there that Jesus came to do and did do. He came to identify with sinners, of whom I am the chief of all sinners. He atoned for the sins of all who believe. We looked at this last week, that his blood shed, his body broken, to deliver us form the bondage of sins and to purchase forgiveness for sin. And He would be our intercessor. He prayed for Pater He prayed for all the followers that The Father gave him. He bridges the gap between God and us. As Paul writes, there is one mediator between God and man, the LORD Jesus Christ.

We don’t need animal sacrifices. We don’t need priests to intercede on our behalf. Jesus already did it. Jesus paid it all. He reconciled our broken relationship between us and God.

And as we looked at last week, that’s what we remember when we celebrate communion. That’s what communion represents. Jesus, God become man. Came to this world, as a human baby, number with transgressors, willingly gave himself up to be crucified, shed his perfect and sinless blood. Broke sins grip on us. Died, was buried, was risen from the dead. Defeated death through that resurrection. The new covenant, that all who believe, by the grace of God alone, through faith alone in in Jesus Christ, the son of God, the Messiah, the way, the truth and the life, alone. TO those who believe he gave new hearts, he gave forgiveness, and he gave eternal life in the Kingdom of God, adopted as sons of God, sealed by the Holy Spirit, co heirs to the kingdom with Christ.

Communion is done in remembrance. IT is not salvific. It is not magic. IT does not impart righteousness, forgiveness or salvation. It is done, for believers, for Christians, to remember what Jesus did for us. TO remember what it cost God to restore that relationship with us. To remember how big of a deal or sin is.

In that vein, we do ask, that if you are not a believer, if you are not a Christian, because of the importance if this, please don’t partake. IF you want to believe, if you have questions, we would love to talk to you after the service and pray with you, but this act of remembrance is for those who have received the forgiveness that Christ purchased on the cross.

Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 11:23-26:

For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body, which is for[f] you. Do this in remembrance of me.”[g] 25 In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

 

So, what we will do is have Mike and Frank come up and we will pass out these cups which contain both the wafers, representing Christs body and the juice which represents Christs blood. After they are passed out, one of them will pray over the wafer and we will take that together as a church family, as fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Then the other will pray for the juice and we will do the same.

 

Let’s celebrate communion together.

 

         

         

 

 

Luke 22:1-13 Jesus is the Son of Man: Laying the Groundwork

Luke 22:1-13

Jesus is the Son of Man

Laying the Groundwork

All right! Please grab your Bibles with me and turn to Luke chapter 22. IF you do not have a Bible or ae in need of a Bible, please see me after the service.

 

Now, if this were a movie, this would be that brief calm interlude before the action and drama ramps back up for the climax.

Jesus and his disciples are in Jerusalem, and they have been since Luke 19:28-40, where he made his triumphant entry. The previous 2 & ½ chapters take place over the course of, about a half a week.

The Passover, which this week’s passage will be setting up takes place Thursday night and A Lot will take place over the course of the next 24 or so hours.

Today’s passage lays the groundwork for it all. It is getting all the pieces and all the characters in place to play their part and to show that God knows what he is doing and that He has it all planned. None of the next 24 hours would come as a surprise or would be God reacting to what was happening.

So, lets go ahead and jump into this morning’s text, Luke chapter 22, verse 1 through 13. Ill be reading out of the English Standard Version and I encourage you to grab your preferred translation and follow along as we read the Word of God.

Luke 22:1-13, the Holy Spirit inspires Luke to record the following:

Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread drew near, which is called the Passover. And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to put him to death, for they feared the people.

Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot, who was of the number of the twelve. He went away and conferred with the chief priests and officers how he might betray him to them. And they were glad, and agreed to give him money. So he consented and sought an opportunity to betray him to them in the absence of a crowd.

Then came the day of Unleavened Bread, on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. So Jesus[a] sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat it.” They said to him, “Where will you have us prepare it?” 10 He said to them, “Behold, when you have entered the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him into the house that he enters 11 and tell the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says to you, Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ 12 And he will show you a large upper room furnished; prepare it there.” 13 And they went and found it just as he had told them, and they prepared the Passover.

 

 

May God Bless the Reading of His Holy Word.

 

 

So, I figured we would start with a bit about why everyone is in Jerusalem to begin with. The custom of the day was for the Jewish people to go to Jerusalem for the festival of unleavened bread and the Passover, which took place of the first day of that feast.

They went and would go to the temple and have their Passover lambs sacrificed in the temple where sacrifices were supposed to take place. Some estimate that the population of Jerusalem would temporarily swell to over 2 million people during the Passover.

Passover, in terms of cultural importance and impact of the spiritual lives of the Jewish people was kind of like combining Christmas and Easter for us. This was the celebration of Gods saving providence.

God was unleashing the ten Plagues on Egypt and the last one was the death of all First-born males. In order to save his people, he told the Israelites to sacrifice a lamb without blemish and to wipe the blood over the doorway so that the angel of death would “pass over” that home.

Long story short, God spared the faithful Israelites and told them to celebrate and remember this every year thereafter. There was a specific meal involved, the sacrifice and eating of an unblemished lamb and teaching the children in order to remember.

That day was now upon them. And we see that the chief priests, the Jewish religious leaders who help some amount of political power, they were seething with hatred against Jesus, and they were looking for the right opportunity to take him out. They would, as one commentator puts it, “lead the final opposition against Jesus.”

Now, its obvious why the religious dint like Jesus and hadn’t for years. Why was it coming to a crux, to a pinnacle hear and know? Listen to what Philip Ryken writes:

Their hatred grew to its most furious intensity during the last week of Jesus’ life. By then it was not just the party of the Pharisees who wanted to get rid of him; it was the whole leadership of the temple in Jerusalem: the priests, the scribes and the elders. These men hated Jesus. They hated him for his condemnations of their hypocrisy and for claiming that he was God the Son. They hated seeing him teach in the temple. They hated how much influence he had on the people, especially during Passover, when so many people were there to influence. In their hatred they challenged his authority (Luke 20:2), tried to get their hands on him (Luke 20:19), and sent spies to trap him (Luke 20:20). In a word, they were seeking to destroy him (Luke 19:47). Maybe this explains why Jesus left the city every day before nightfall: it was too dangerous for him to be in Jerusalem after dark.

 

So, they wanted to get ahold of Jesus and have him killed. But they had to be smart about it. The people wouldn’t have stood for it, for sure. They dint know what the people would do, but it wouldn’t be good for the religious leaders. And so, the chief priests were looking for the right opportunity and the right plan to make it happen.

The next character is this drama that we see is Judas Iscariot. He was a close friend of Jesus. He was one of the twelve disciples. He was the treasurer of Jesus and the disciples. When Mary poured perfume on the feet of Jesus, Judas was the one who threw a fit, saying that the money that perfume sold for could have been used to help the poor, although John 12:6 tells us: He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it.

And so, he was not some innocent bystander who was taken over by Satan and made to work against his will. He was already corrupted by sin and working against Jesus before this.

One commentator reminds us of Ananias and Saphira in Acts 5:3 to show that when the scripture says Satan entered into Judas, it is not referring to possession, but to a strong influence. Some may want to excuse Judas from the guilt of his actions, but scripture leaves no such opportunity.

So, Judas went out and he sought out the chief priests.

I picture one of those scenes where the chief priests are sitting around in a circle, brainstorming, looking like Winnie the Pooh, think… think… think…

“I know, we need someone on the inside, an inside man!”

“How are we going to get that? They are all loyal to him!”

 

*Knock, knock*

 

Judas: Hi guys! I’m an answer to your prayers!

 

That’s probably not how it happened, but…

 

Either way, Judas seeks out the chief priests and they figure out a plan. They also figure out what the price of that betrayal and that plan will be. Again, we see that the chief priests didn’t have to seek out or pressure or wear down or convince Judas to do any of this. He sought them out.

So, they agree on the price, and it is staggering how ordinary a temptation it was that allowed and caused Judas to betray Jesus. It was just a little bit of money. 30 pieces of silver. And it makes me see just how much of Judas there is in each and every one of us, every time we sin.

Often, its simple, plain, seemingly ordinary temptations that cause us to sin. It’s not usually that I all of a sudden get a temptation to murder someone. Its not that I suddenly get a temptation to go out and cheat on my wife. The end result, the sin itself is often bigger than the temptation that led us to it. Judas did not go out and get tempted to kill Jesus. But a chain of events and a chain of growing temptations, seemingly starting with the love of money, led him directly to that point.

And we also can’t tell by looking at someone one whether they are genuinely regenerated and saved or not. You can’t tell by their education in the bible. You can’t tell by their position in the church. You cannot tell what darkness lies in their hearts. People are good at playing roles and putting on facades. No one would have ever expected Judas to betray Jesus, especially for a relatively small amount of money, and yet, here in the Gospels, we see it written in black and white.

Now, again, why are we in Jerusalem right now? Oh yeah, the Passover. This passage from Luke 22, verses 7-13 feels a lot like as Jesus was getting ready to enter Jerusalem in Luke 19:29-34. Go do this and this and this is what you will see, right where I tell you and the person you meet will do exactly what I say he will.

Jesus tells Peter to take care of the preparations for the Passover meal. Go and find the guy with the water jug. This would have been unusual because for the most part, the woman had the water jugs, and the guys carry waterskins. Go find him and follow him and tell him I said so and he will let you use the upper room in his home.

Jesus didn’t just like ordering Peter around. He wasn’t just lazy and not doing it himself. There was a reason for all the cloak and dagger and the secrecy. Judas. None of the disciples except for Peter knew where the Passover dinner would take place. If Judas had known where it would be he could have set up the betrayal and Jesus’ arrest for during or before the diner.

Jesus was not going to let anything get in the way of his last meal his close friends, his family. He was not going to let anything get in the way of the Passover meal. And so, Jesus did what needed to be done to ensure privacy and security for this meal that we are going to be looking at over the next couple of weeks.

So, at this point, all the pieces are in place. The chief priests, Judas, Jesus and the Disciples, a Passover meal prepared and ready to go. The storm clouds are gathering. Bad things are going to take place over the next 24 hours or so of real time.

Satan and his work were coming to a pinnacle. He had been working since Adam and Eve to prevent the Son of Man from crushing him. He had down everything in his power to stop the line of Christ.

And that invisible war was coming to its climax. It would reach its climax with Jesus crucified on the cross. When it seemed that Satan had won and defeated the Son of God, when Jesus was dead, and the earth shook, and the sun went dark. And then on Saturday, Jesus buried in the tomb, it continued to look like Satan had won.

But these things did not just happen to God. They did not happen to Jesus. These things didn’t just happen. God and Jesus did not “react” to what was happening.

Acts 2:23 & 24 tell us that Jesus was “delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. 24 God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it”

All that happened to Jesus was a part of the divine and predetermined plan that was orchestrated by the Trinitarian God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, before the beginning of time.

God was orchestrating this all. Moving all the pieces into place. Showing his complete and total sovereignty, his complete and total control over all of creation.

RC Sproul writes: In Judas’ case, a heinous evil action was committed. But from a different perspective, the most glorious deed that ever was performed on our behalf was the betrayal of Jesus Christ, because through that work, God orchestrated by Gods sovereignty, our salvation came to pass. Judas was willing; he had his own intentions. His purpose was to strike Jesus. Gods purpose was to redeem us through this very same act.

 

In Genesis 50:20, Joseph, talking to his brothers who sold him into slavery, for the same amount that Judas took to betray Jesus, had this to say:  As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people[b] should be kept alive,

 

God is on control. Even when it doesn’t look like it. Even when bad things are happening. Even when things are at there darkest, God is in control. He is sovereign. And all things work together for the good of those who are called according to his purpose.

IF you are called according to his purpose, trust in him, look to him, have faith in him in and for all things. He will bring through all these things and the dawn is always brightest after the darkest of nights. Things are going to get dark, for Jesus as we will see, and for us in life. But Jesus rises on the other side and is control of it all and he has promised to never leave us or forsake us, and he has won the battle over Satan and the forces of darkness and sin. Amen.

 

Let’s Pray.

 

 

 

 

Luke 20:45-21:4 Jesus is the Son of Man Beware the Hypocrisy

Luke 20:45-21:4

Jesus is the Son of Man

Beware the Hypocrisy

 

All right let’s turn in our Bibles to the very end of Luke chapter 20. If you do not have a Bible, if you are in need of a Bible, please see me after the service and we will work on getting one into your hands.

So, to sum up Luke chapter 20 is to say that the religious leaders have been challenging Jesus. They have been challenging his power, his authority and his influence.

Jesus has been rebuking them and correcting them each and every time. He has been doing so by bringing them back to a correct understanding of the Holy Scriptures.

And one of the things we are seeing in these religious leaders, one of the things that we see throughout the scriptures, is that head knowledge without heart application means nothing. That’s not to say that head knowledge means nothing. Knowledge is important. But without it changing the heart and without us applying it, it is nothing.

We are going to see a stark example of that here this morning.

Let’s go ahead and read Luke chapter 20 verse 45 through chapter 21 verse 4. I will be reading out of the English Standard Version, and I encourage you to grab your preferred translation and follow along in the text. IF you do not have a Bible, it will also be posted up on the screen.

Luke 20:45-21:4, The Holy Spirit inspires Luke to record:

And in the hearing of all the people he said to his disciples, 46 “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and love greetings in the marketplaces and the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts, 47 who devour widows’ houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”

 

Chapter 21

Jesus[a] looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins.[b] And he said, “Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”

 

 

May God Bless the Reading of His Holy Word.

 

 

After this chapter worth of the scribes, pharisees, Sadducees and elders publicly attacking Jesus and him defending himself, he turns the tables on them. He makes a public example of them.

Hey guys, these guys how have been attacking me, beware of them, avoid them, they are a bunch of hypocrites.

He points out what is already pretty well known at this point. They desired to look good in the eyes of the people.

Jesus addresses this in a number of times and in a number of ways, especially in Matthew 6. Look first in verses 5 & 6:

“And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

 

These men are presenting themselves as pious and holy. They are presenting themselves as righteous and with a direct line to God. They are showing everyone that they are smarter than everyone and that they know better then everyone.

Their dress, their attitude, their behavior, all of it is shouting, Pay attention to Me! Respect Me! Show deference to Me! Look at me as I do all these good things. Look at me as I walk around, and other people see how good I am. Look at me and see how much I give. Look at me and see how holy my prayers are. Look at me!

Jesus says, Hypocrites!

Beware of them. DO not follow them. Do not listen to them.

 

Many of these criticisms, unfortunately, can be levied against men in my profession. Men who claim to have a calling and a passion for the LORD. Men who are living unholy lives, whether in public or in secret. Men who are in it for the money, the fame, the publicity, the prestige. Men who are swindlers, preying on the old and the poor and the desperate.

Do Not Follow Men Who Are Living Unholy Lives!

 

Now, this, of course, does not mean that you can only follow someone who is perfect and sinless. None of us are. Paul wasn’t, Timothy wasn’t, James, John and Peter weren’t. Billy Graham wasn’t. RC Sproul wasn’t.  John MacArthur isn’t. Charles Stanley isn’t. Alistair Begg isn’t.

I certainly am not.

 

But we look to what scripture says and what are Pastors and elders supposed to be. Paul writes in 1 Timothy 3:

The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore an overseer[a] must be above reproach, the husband of one wife,[b] sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.

Deacons likewise must be dignified, not double-tongued,[c] not addicted to much wine, not greedy for dishonest gain. They must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. 10 And let them also be tested first; then let them serve as deacons if they prove themselves blameless. 11 Their wives likewise[d] must be dignified, not slanderers, but sober-minded, faithful in all things. 12 Let deacons each be the husband of one wife, managing their children and their own households well.

 

 

This is what religious leaders are supposed to hold to. To fail in these areas is called a disqualifying sin.

 

Blatant Hypocrisy.

Misuse and twisting of Gods Word. (That doesn’t not mean disagreeing with their teaching or interpretation)

Stealing or skimming money, misusing church funds.

Manipulating and abusing.

Sexual Sin.

Out of control anger and abuse.

Exorbitant and lavish lifestyles.

Those who compromise Biblical truths in order to have more influence in the world, a bigger audience, better book sales, people to like them more.

 

These are things that Gods Word says make one unqualified to be a spiritual leader. Do Not Follow them that do these things.

By the way, do not do these things either. These codes of conduct are not only for pastors, elders and the like. They are for all believers. The problem is that these are all natural human temptations. That’s why Jesus says beware!

We would love to have someone in authority tell us that giving in to those temptations is ok. That they do it so we can to. We want someone to justify our sins, to say that they are not really sins, or that its perfectly natural.

We also naturally want to look our best in different scenarios and environments. Even if looking our best in that environment means lying about who we are or pretending we don’t do or believe certain things, pretending that wrong is right. OR, as the scribes described here, having the appearance of godliness, holiness, righteousness, morality, when it is only an outer façade.

Paul, again, describes the people that Jesus warns about. This time 2 Timothy 3:

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.

 

 

Having the appearance of Godliness but denying its power.

 

Avoid such people.

 

These people will think they are winning, they are successfully tricking people into thinking they are who their façade shows. Jesus says here, they will receive their condemnation. James echoes this when he says:

Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness

 

 

 

Jesus is much, much more than an example for us. So much so that when people say that he is an example, I get very cautious. Many have said that in context like what we looked at last week. This definition of who He is, is all of who he is. So, when people say Jesus was an example for us, because some say that’s all He is an example, and some say that means we can do everything that He did, including the miracles, I get defensive.

But the fact is that Jesus is an example for us to follow. We should seek to model our lives after him. And when we look at Jesus calling out the scribes and their blatant hypocrisy and pride and showmanship, the contrast could not be any clearer.

One commentator says: How far this is from the example of Jesus Christ, who did not seek a place for himself, but set aside the glory he deserved to serve us to the very death.

          This is straight from scripture. Paul writes in Philippians 2:

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,[a] who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,[b] but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant,[c] being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

 

 

Jesus is clear. Beware of being like these guys. Don’t be like these guys. Don’t follow these guys. Be better. Follow me. Be like me.

 

And then, as we move into Chapter 21, There just happens to be, luckily enough, coincidently, an example of the scribes, pharisees, Sadducees, the religious leaders manipulating and taking advantage of those under them.

Whew! Jesus sure was lucky that happened right at that time!

 

They were in one of the courts of the temple. That’s where all the teaching would take place. And in that court were the offering boxes. There were 13 of them and each one had written on it what the money gathered would be used for.

The rich, well off, the religious leaders, they made sure they were seen giving. Remember Jesus talked about them tithing on their mint and dill. They wanted to make sure they showed how successful and well off they were because it showed the other people that God was pleased with them. It also made them look good, showing how generous they were.

And Jesus directly contrasts their unholiness and outward piousness, with a poor widows sacrifice and faith. The word in the original language is extremely poor. This was much poorer than any one in this room. This was extreme poverty.

She was giving two copper coins, the lowest valued coins that existed. Our pennies are made from copper, this was their equivalent. Mark, as he told this story, remarked that together they would make 2 pennies.

She gave literally her last coins. She now had no money to buy food or anything. She sacrificed more than any of the hypocrites ever would. Her giving was worth more to God than theirs.

Now, we have all heard many sermons and teachings on this passage, and we are not going to get too deep into the normal aspect of it today. In addition to the truths that are usually taught, we see that this widow is being exploited by the religious leaders. The religious leaders were not fulling their duty as James 1 tells us, Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

          Jesus told us at the end of Luke 20 that they devoured widows’ houses. Commentators aren’t sure what exactly that refers to, many of them give a thought, but the point is clear. They are taking advantage of and exploiting those whom they are tasked with taking care of.

The widow, of course, had an obligation to give. That’s not in doubt or in question. She was to, as we all are, give in and with faith and to be a cheerful and sacrificial giver.

But the religious leaders had an obligation to make sure she wasn’t exploited, and she wasn’t guilted into giving her literally last penny. They were bleeding her dry so that she didn’t have any thing left to live on.

We see a financial and generosity example of this principle here: God does not compare our giving with what the person next to us is giving. He compares our giving to what we have and what we give. Just like he doesn’t compare our sins with the person next to us, or to the people who are (in our mind) much worse than us. He takes and looks at our sins by what we do and what we are called to do.

 

 

True faith in Christ means living a life of Christ. The Bible is clear what those principals and some of the specifics look like.

How are you treating the poorest among you? Again, James tells us to take care of the widows and orphans and to keep oneself unstained form the world. Paul tells us that our giving should be cheerful and sacrificial, how much or however little it may be. Live with humility and love. Ephesians 4 says to preach the truth, but also to preach it with love. Jesus tells us that they will know we are Christians by our love.

We are to strive for and live a life of holiness, avoiding hypocrisy. Not in order to gain favor with God or to avoid punishment from him.  We can’t do either of those things. Not us, not on our own. Favor in Gods eyes and salvation from the wrath of God is from one way and from one source only. Its is solely by the grace of God alone who gives the faith, and it that faith alone in His Son, Jesus Christ alone that does it.  And Gods love and Jesus’ sacrifice changes us.

The Holy Spirit changes our heart of stone to a heart of flesh, we are brought from death to Life. This is the fruit of the spirit being made evident in our lives. This is a lifestyle that flows from the Holy Spirit, fruit from a true, saving faith.

Hypocrites, those hypocrites Jesus points out, the hypocrites that are obvious today, even the ones that are not so obvious, like us unless we repent. They will receive their condemnation.

But Romans 8:1 tells us that there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Jesus tells us, if you love me, keep my commandments. Trust in him, repent of your sins, and show your love for and faith in him by living a life modeled after him and obeying him.

 

Let’s Pray

Luke 20:41-44 Jesus is LORD Jesus is the Son of Man

Luke 20:41-44

Jesus is LORD

Jesus is the Son of Man

 

All right! Please grab your Bibles and turn with me to Luke chapter 20. If you do not have a Bible or if you need a Bible, please see me after the service and we will work on getting one into your hands.

So, in Luke chapter 20, we see that religious leaders of all kinds, different denominations, different political parties, different viewpoints, they are all different in many ways, but they are united in one area. They are united against Jesus of Nazareth.

He and his teachings were a threat to their power, their religious power, their political power, their people, cultural power. And so, they combined to challenge him. They sought to undermine his power, his authority and his influence.

Jesus’ response to them was clear and firm. He kept bringing them back to scriptures. He kept focusing on the Word of God. Even when they wanted to use the Word of God against Him, he would use the word of God to correct their misunderstandings and show them what they and been missing in the Word.

Jesus continues that in this section this morning. We are going to read just a couple of verses here, Luke chapter 20, verses 41-44. I’ll be reading out of the English Standard Version, which will also be on the screen, though I encourage you to grab your own Bible, in your preferred translation and read along for yourself out of the word of God.

Luke 20:41-44, Inspired by the Holy Spirit, Luke records the Words of Jesus:

But he said to them, “How can they say that the Christ is David’s son? 42 For David himself says in the Book of Psalms,

“‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at my right hand,
43     until I make your enemies your footstool.”’

44 David thus calls him Lord, so how is he his son?”

 

Thus says the Word of God

          Now, we saw at the end of the passage we looked at last week that Jesus answered their questions so well, so forcefully, with so much authority, that they didn’t dare ask him any more questions. They figured, this is the wrong tact to use, lets regroup and try something else, we can’t trick him with our questions.

And so here, Jesus flips the script and asks them a question instead. Again, he is looking to correct a simplistic, incomplete, misunderstanding about the Word of God, and therefore, about himself, that the scribes, and other religious leaders hold to.

Jesus cut at the expectations that the religious leaders had for who the Messiah was supposed to be and was going to be. The long awaited, long promised, longed for Messiah was prophesied to be a descendant of David. He was to be a Son of David and he was to sit on the throne of David.

In some ways, they were expecting the Messiah to be kind of a David part 2, a David Jr.

And so, the whole focus was on comparing him to the expectations that David’s reign as King had set. David, as King, unified the twelve tribes of Israel, united them back into a singular nation. He brought about a free and strong Israel. David provided, under his leadership, military and political power, and freedom and protection against their neighboring countries, historical enemies. He made Israel great!

As Jesus stood before the Jewish leaders, Israel was, again, a nation divided. Judah, Israel, even Samaria. Ever since they divided in the OT, stemming from a lack of leadership and godliness under the reign of Kings after David. They were also an occupied land and an occupied people.

And so, the Messiah had some very specific things to do, tasks to accomplish and prophecies to fulfill in the religious leaders’ eyes. He was to militarily and politically overthrow Rome and send them away from Israel. He would unite the three states of Israel and make them united and unified once again. He was going to sit upon David’s throne, a physical king, over a physical land, the country of Israel. He was going to Make Israel Great Again.

That was what was expected. They are what they were looking for. That is what they thought that God was sending them. The promised Messiah, the Son of David.

And yet…
You say that the Messiah will be the Son of David, and yet, in the Psalms, David says that He will be, He is David’s LORD. David holds him in higher regard than you guys do.

That last point is important, because in those days, in that academic and religious setting, those who came before were regarded as much more wise than present generations. This is why the leaders and teachers were so dependent on what previous rabbis said and taught. And so, again, using consistent, internal logic, they should have deferred to what David thought and believe and wrote.

Jesus is telling them; you have a very myopic view of who the Messiah will be. They were only looking at information, only looking for things that would confirm what they already believed, and they want to believe. The same way that we watch the news today, the same way we talk to people today, that same way our tendency is to read the Bible today.

They were looking at things through a very specific and particular lens. Kent Hughes cuts through it all and puts it very pointedly, writing:

 

The problem with these scribes is that they had a studied ignorance of God’s Word and a practiced inability to think beyond rabbinical traditions. They read the Word through a political lens that reduced the Messiah to a mere man on the analogy of David. We do the same with our lenses- an economic lens that turns every scripture into advice for financial wellbeing, a racial lens that not too long ago edited out the scriptural teaching on ethnic equality, a feminist lens that interprets and rejects the Scriptures as a tract for patriarchal dominance, a postmodern lens that subjectivizes Holy Scripture into “what it means to me.” We all have our lenses, and our lenses blind us to the glory of God’s Word. We must try to read Gods Word for what it is. And we must humbly seek the Holy Spirits help in bowing to what we read.

 

          Now, are there scriptures about how to rightly handle finances? Yes. Are there scriptures on Gods design for the family and head of the Households? Yes. Some lenses that we look at scripture through, there are parts of it that are valid. Some are not, but some are. And that makes them even more dangerous, because we look through those lenses and we focus only on what we see through that lens.

So, are there scriptures that say the Messiah will be the Son of David? That he will be a physical descendant of David? Yes, there are. But that’s not all of who He is.

We also see that He will be God. A part of who the Messiah will be is deity.   David, in Psalm 110, uses the English word Lord, twice, but that’s two different words in Hebrew. So, David is saying, “Yahweh said to my Adonai…”

Yahweh is the personal name of God. Adonai means my sovereign LORD. When every knee will bow and every tongue will confess, it won’t be at the name of Jesus, or Yeshua. It will be that Jesus is Adonai. David is saying that the Messiah will be sovereign overall. David will bow, submit to Him, call him LORD. He will be Son of God.

And we see him titled the Son of Man as well. Daniel especially uses this title and Luke does as well to harken back to Daniel and show that Jesus is who Daniel was looking forward to.  We see in the Gospels, specifically Matthew and Luke that Jesus was born a human baby. He lived a human life. He would die a human death.

And yes, in addition to Son of God and Son of Man, he would be a Son of David. He would be born in the lineage of David. This would be to help confirm whether those claiming to be the Messiah were or were not Legit. Luke is clear to confirm multiple times that Jesus is a descendant of David, (1:27,32,69, 2:4, 18:38)

 

As Son of David, the Messiah is not less than David. Just as, as Son of God, The Messiah is not less than God.  The Messiah is LORD. He is David’s son, but he is David’s LORD. He is Caesars LORD. He is your LORD, and he is my LORD.

We don’t have the right to have a myopic view of who the Messiah is. We don’t have the right to see him as only the Son of David, or only the Son of God, or the Son of Man, for he is all of these and more. The only box we can put the Messiah in, the only way for us to define who the Messiah is how he himself defines himself and the box he himself puts himself in. Namely, the Word of God.

We, as humans, have a lot to say about God, about Jesus. He is like this or like that. He would do this or would do that. He wouldn’t do this and wouldn’t do that. And most of the time, the things we say have no biblical basis. They are our wants, our desires and our human nature pouring out. IF there is any biblical Ness in it, it’s not contextually, comprehensively, biblically based.

Now, the question Jesus is asking the scribes, how can the Messiah be the Son of David if David calls him LORD? And what was Jesus’ answer?

One commentator writes:

What was the answer? There is no record in any of the synoptic Gospels that Jesus bothered to explain it to the scribes that day. The answer lies in the two stages of the Messiahs history. First, by birth, he became the “son” of David. Second, by his death, resurrection, ascension, and position at Gods right hand he reigns as David’s “LORD.”

Another commentator says that this riddle is solved only by Messiah being both God and Man.

And that man is none other than Jesus himself. There is no one else in history that can be the Messiah. There was never meant to be any one possible except Jesus.

He, and only He can define who He is. He and only He can show us who he is.

Son of Man, Son of God, Son of David

Wonderful Counselor, Prince of Peace, Everlasting Father.

Immanuel

Lamb of God

Alpha & Omega

Bread of Life

Redeemer

The Word Made Flesh

Beloved Son

Good Shepard

Master

Rabbi

Christ.

He is the King of Kings and the LORD of LORDs

 

All of this from the scriptures. All of this is who Jesus is. All of this is who the Messiah is. Not any one of these. All of these. And more.

He is our salvation. He is exclusive. He is the Way, the truth, and the Life. He came to be a ransom for many. And it is by the grace of God alone, through faith alone in Jesus alone that we receive salvation, that our sins are forgiven that we have our eyes open to who he is and what the Bible says, that we were blind and can now see, that we were dead but are now alive, that are able to be called children of God and that we are clothed in Christs righteousness.

 

Who Jesus is is the single most important question that we have to answer in this life. And He is the only one who has the authority to answer it. And he does answer it, right here in scriptures.

          Jesus and Jesus alone gets to who we say He is and who he is is worthy of all honor and glory and praises.

 

Let’s pray.

Luke 20:19-26 Jesus is the Son of Man Who do you belong to?

Luke 20:19-26

Jesus is the Son of Man

Who do you belong to?

All right! Let’s go ahead and turn in our Bibles to Luke chapter 20. Of course, as I often say, if you do not have a Bible, or do not own a Bible, please see me after the service and we will work to get one into your hands.

As we continue through Luke’s Gospel, we are getting close to the end, we are in the last week of Jesus life. And as we are closing in on the end, we are seeing that the battles, the challenges between Jesus and the spiritual, religious leaders of the day are getting more and more ferocious.

Just in chapter 20, so far, we have seen the scribes, elders, and pharisees question whether Jesus has any authority to be speaking in the temple, let alone doing and saying the things that he is. Jesus comes back at them and shows that they are cowards in their answers and tells them a parable about them. He tells them that they are terrible landlords of the Gods resources, that they are going to be evicted and destroyed and the kingdom will be given to others, namely, those who believe in faith.

In their conflicts, Jesus’ message and mission are clear. You have no inherent rights to the Kingdom of God. You are only a citizen of the Kingdom, only a child of God if He wills it. IT is only by the grace of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, his Son.

There is no gray area in this conflict. You are in or you are out. You are dead in your sin, or you are alive in Christ. Jesus has been clear that those who reject the Son, who reject what God has said, and who he has sent will not be a part of the Kingdom of God.

And that’s where we will pick up with todays passage. We will be reading Luke chapter 20, verses 19-26. I will be reading out of the English Standard Version though I encourage you to grab whichever is your preferred translation and follow along. For those who do not have their Bible, we will put the text up on the screen.

Luke 20:19-26, the Holy Spirit inspires Luke to record the following:

 

The scribes and the chief priests sought to lay hands on him at that very hour, for they perceived that he had told this parable against them, but they feared the people. 20 So they watched him and sent spies, who pretended to be sincere, that they might catch him in something he said, so as to deliver him up to the authority and jurisdiction of the governor. 21 So they asked him, “Teacher, we know that you speak and teach rightly, and show no partiality,[d] but truly teach the way of God. 22 Is it lawful for us to give tribute to Caesar, or not?” 23 But he perceived their craftiness, and said to them, 24 “Show me a denarius.[e] Whose likeness and inscription does it have?” They said, “Caesar’s.” 25 He said to them, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” 26 And they were not able in the presence of the people to catch him in what he said, but marveling at his answer they became silent.

 

 

May God Bless the Reading of His Holy Word.

 

 

So, we see in scripture that the Pharisees and them didn’t like that Jesus told them they were going to hell. Understandably, they were mad at that. The problem is how they reacted, where their focus was.

Instead of looking within themselves and looking at the criticism levied at them to see if there was any validity to what Jesus was saying, instead of doing that, they ignored it and wanted to violently, physically lash out and get back at Jesus. The only thing that was stopping them is what we also saw in the verses 1-8, and that was their fear of retribution from the people.

And we know that how we respond to criticism is important. IF someone criticizes you, there may be no validity to it. That’s certainly possible. They may just say those things because they don’t like you, are jealous of you, were hurt by you, there are so many reasons. But we have a personal responsibility, regardless of the motivation of why it was said, to search ourselves and see if there is any validity to what is said.

Now, the scribes, elders, the Pharisees and all the rest of the spiritual leaders, they knew that they couldn’t move against Jesus directly. They knew the people were watching. They knew that they held no authority to do what they wanted to do to Jesus.

But they also knew that they were in Jerusalem and there was a lot of Roman authority around. The Romans had the authority to deal with Jesus. But up to this point they had no reason to deal with Jesus. SO, Jesus’ enemies devised a plan.

They sent fake spies, people pretending to be sincere, pretending to be followers of Christ. And these spies were looking, waiting, searching for just the right opportunity. They were waiting, listening for Jesus to do or say something that they could use against him under Roman law.

One of the things we see here, is there is a big difference in listening with discernment, listening and searching scriptures, with the intent to make sure that what you are hearing is correct. There is a big difference in listening with discernment and listening with a critical spirit, with a critical heart. Trying to find wrong in something, whether it is there or not.

I know that I can be guilty of this in a specific way. When I listen to other pastors, specifically ones that I know are wrong on some things or have been wrong in the past, on specific things or issues, I can often listen with a critical spirit, and even if they are speaking about something completely different, I will, at times not give any benefit of the doubt and I can listen to hear what they get wrong instead of just not listening. If I know they are wrong on certain things, the better move would be to not listen at all. If I am going to listen, I need to listen with a discerning heart, but have to be careful not to listen with a critical heart.

Now, Jesus wasn’t giving these spies anything to work with, so they decide to take matters into their own hands, and they come at Jesus. They start with flowery flattery. Fake compliments. The other end of the spectrum, same sin as Gossip. They tell him things that are actually true, but they don’t mean them. You teach and preach rightly. You don’t play favorites. You know what you are talking about.

And then they ask him a question. This is intended to be a gotcha question. This was directly reminiscent of Jesus asking them if John’s baptism was of God or of Man? A wrong answer no matter what he answers.

Paraphrasing the question, So, Jesus, Is taxation theft? Are you loyal to God above Rome? Are you willing to speak against the Roman occupation?

Or are you a government stooge? Are you one who compromises your faith to be in the good graces of the government? Are you loyal to these unjust tyrants above your people, your family, your God?

 

That’s the gist of their question, the loaded meaning behind the seemingly simple, is it lawful to pay tribute to Caesar?

Ha! Gotcha!

 

So, why was this such a divisive question? The Roman occupation of Israel was paid for, in part, by the taxes that were paid by Israel to Rome. This is why the tax collectors were so hated at that time. These taxes that Rome had levied against were a big point of contention for the Jewish people.

When Jesus was a young kid, there was a violent uprising because of taxes and the Roman military came down hard, crucifying people along the main road stretching for miles. Ultimately, this is what also led to tempers boiling over in 70 A.D. leading to Rome coming against Jerusalem, laying siege to the city and completely destroying the temple, not leaving one block on top of another. All events that Jesus prophesied about on numerous occasions.

And so, by trying to ask Jesus if he supports the taxes, they are trying to make it look like Jesus supports the Roman occupation. Remember part of what made Jesus so popular with the people is that many were expecting him to militarily liberate them from Rome. So, he would lose a lot of his popularity if he publicly sided with Rome.

On the other hand, if he comes out and says he doesn’t not support paying the taxes, then he is basically supporting insurrection and rebellion against Rome. And while they didn’t tend to get involved in religious dealings, they were very quick to squash those who would take action against Rome or lead others to take action against Rome. If Jesus supported insurrection, rebellion and whatnot, Rome would arrest him and punish him.

And so, it would seem that the scribes, elders, pharisees had Jesus caught between a rock and a hard place.

But verse 23 shows us that Jesus was way smarter than them and knew what they were trying to do. He perceived their craftiness. Yup, crafty, just like the serpent in the garden. That wording is not incidental. That’s a testament to which side these guys are on as they try to trick & catch Jesus.

So, Jesus says, show me a denarius. He was specific about what coin, partly because that was the specific coin that was to be used to pay the tax. Also, these guys who were trying to trick Jesus in regard to paying the taxes, now showed that they had one of those coins on them in order to pay the tax. Slightly awkward.

He holds up the coin and asks, whose image is one this coin? Who produced it? Who has the rights to it? Whose image is one this coin?

You can almost hear the hesitation in the answer, like they are thinking, where is he going with this? But they answer because its obvious.

Caesars…

 

So, Jesus says simply, it belongs to Caesar, give it to him…

And Give to God what is Gods…

 

Now, few things to note and some caveats and what not…

First, yes. Even all that belongs to Caesar ultimately belongs to God. Jesus isn’t trying to say otherwise, nor should we try to get technical and try to get out of following Jesus’ intent by dismissing Caesar because even he and his things belong to God. Jesus never intended for that to be a loophole we can use.

Scripture makes it clear in numerous places that Governments and their power and authority are legitimate. God gave Government its authority and its power and it is legitimate.

A couple of passages in scripture real quick.

Romans 13:1-7, Paul writes:

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.

 

Next, Peter writes, 1 Peter 2:13-17:

 

Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution,[b] whether it be to the emperor[c] as supreme, 14 or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. 15 For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. 16 Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants[d] of God. 17 Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.

 

And so, it is our God given responsibility to obey and submit to the government that God has placed us under. We saw back in the beginning of Luke’s Gospel, Chapter 2 verse 1, that Joseph and Mary obey the government when traveling to Bethlehem for the census that was ordered by the Roman government for tax purposes.

And yes, the same Peter who wrote that it is for the LORDS sake that we submit top the government is the same Peter who, in Acts, tells us that we are to obey Gods laws above Mans laws. So yes, there are limits and exceptions. However, those limits and exceptions are not simply because we don’t like what they say. We don’t get to pick and chose which laws we obey. We don’t get to not pay taxes because we don’t like how they are used. That’s unbiblical and its sin.

Richard Halverson, a former chaplain of the United States Senate said this:

 

TO be sure, men will abuse and misuse the institution of the State just as men because of sin have abused and misused every other institution in history including the Church of Jesus Christ; but this does not mean that the institution is bad or that it should be forsaken. It simply means that men are sinners and rebels in Gods world, and this is the way they behave with good institutions. As a matter of fact, it is because of this very sin that there must be a human government to maintain order in history until the ultimate and final rule of Jesus Christ is established. Human government is better than anarchy and the Christian must recognize the ‘divine right” of the State.

         

          And some of us don’t like to hear that. Some of us want to reject that out of hand. But the truth is that we can’t argue with scripture. Gods inerrant Word. We have to, for now, live in and submit to both worlds. And the truth is that rendering unto Caesar is one of the ways that we render unto God. Again, Peter passage I read a moment ago, it is for the LORDS sake that we submit to the government.

But even bigger than that, not instead of that, not in place of that, but bigger than that is Jesus main point. Whose image was in the coin? Caesars. So, it belongs to Caesar. Give it to him.

Give to God what belongs to God. What belongs to God. The passage Mike read earlier this morning, Genesis 1:26-31 shows that God created man, male and female, God created us in his image. His image is stamped on each and every one of us.

So, look in the mirror. Look at your spouse, look at your friends. Look at that person who interrupted you, that person who gossiped about you. Look at that person who yelled at you, who cheated you who sinned against you in any way. Look at those who have sinned against your friends or family. Look at your enemies, your hated ones. Look at the worst human you can think of. Look at some of the Caesars.

 

All created in Gods image. All are image bearers of God. All are stamped with His image.

When we think about that, when we remember that they are all made in Gods image, we need to remember to treat every person as an image bearer of God. This is different of course from being a child of God, which is only through Gods grace through faith in Christ.

But that’s an aside, not the main point of this specific passage that Jesus is making. You are an image bearer of God. You are made in his image. His face is stamped on you. You belong to Him.

Very much like a coin in our pockets will get dirt, lint and so on all over and obscure the image on the coin and can make it unrecognizable, so too can and will sin make Gods image on us dirty and obscured and, possibly sometimes unrecognizable. But his image will not wear off and cannot be removed.

And so, Gove to God what is Gods. Give him your life. Give him yourself. Give him everything and every part of you.

This passage ends with those who asked Jesus the Gotcha question unable to say Gotcha! Instead, they were stunned into silence. And we would like to think that some were probably thinking, Wow, he’s right! I never thought about it like that.

But realistically, we know that many were instead mad because he found a way out of their trap.

His ways are infinitely better than out own. His wisdom is infinitely greater than our own. He perceives our craftiness, and he knows the ins and outs of how we think, selfishly, & sinfully.

So, whose are you? The truth is that all who are born, all who are created, yourself included, belong to God. You are stamped in his image. If you give yourself to him, trust in his Son, believe on him, then you are sealed with the Holy Spirit and become a child of God, adopted into his family and a co heir with Christ to the heavenly Kingdom.

 

We give to this world what belongs to the world. We obey and submit to the leaders God has sovereignly put over us. We pray for those same leaders. We pray for the good of the city in which we are exiles. We are to live quiet, hard-working lives. We are to do good, pursue justice, love mercy.  We are to earn our keep and to be fruitful. We are to flee immorality and to obey the laws of the land.

But in addition to that, we are to give to God what is Gods.

We are to repent and believe the Gospel. We are to trust in the Son, Jesus Christ. We are to worship, adore and praise only God. We are to flee immorality and to flee the devil. We are to be Holy as our Father in Heaven is Holy. We are to offer ourselves as living sacrifices. We are to live as strangers and aliens, as exiles in a land not our own. We are to pray without ceasing and to rejoice in all things. We are to look up at Him, trust in Him and his word and do it all for His Glory.

I’m going to leave you with a quote form RC Sproul regarding the principle that Christians have to deal with regarding obedience to authorities. He says:

The principal is very simple but applying it can be excruciatingly difficult. The principal is that we must always, in every circumstance, obey the civil magistrates unless they command us to do what God forbids or they forbid us to do what God commands.

Let’s Pray.

Luke 19:28-44 Jesus is the Son of Man Jesus Exceeds our Expectations

Luke 19:28-44

Jesus is the Son of Man

Jesus Exceeds our Expectations

 

All tight! If you will, please turn with me to Luke Chapter 19.

Way back in Luke 9, verse 51, Luke tells us that Jesus set his face upon Jerusalem. And we have walked with him as he has traveled, teaching, healing, performing miracles, seeing people whom society wouldn’t and couldn’t see.

And here, 10 chapters later, we see Jesus arrive in Jerusalem.  He timed it for a reason, and he came for a reason, for a very specific purpose. He came, as he told Zacchaeus recently. To seek and save the lost.

To do that completely, correctly and perfectly, he needed to go to Jerusalem. He needed to be turned over and he needed to die. He needed to be buried and he needed to rise from the dead, brought back to life. All of it, done the week of the Passover so that the correlations, the foreshadowing and the fulfillments would be obvious.

This was all determined and planned amongst the Blessed and Holy Trinity, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit before the beginning of time.

And again, the timing mattered. The lamb of God being sacrificed for the salvation of Gods people from sin and from death. Taking place, the same week they were celebrating Passover, when a lamb without blemish was sacrificed in remembrance of the salvation of Gods people from slavery and bondage in Egypt.

Jesus was finally in Jerusalem. He had finally come to redeem his people.

 

Let’s go ahead and read this week’s passage, Luke chapter 19, verses 28 through 44. Ill be reading, as always, out of the English Standard Version and I encourage you to grab your preferred translation and follow along, so that you too are reading the very Words of God.

Luke 19:28-44, Luke, inspired by the Holy Spirit, writes:

And when he had said these things, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29 When he drew near to Bethpage and Bethany, at the mount that is called Olivet, he sent two of the disciples, 30 saying, “Go into the village in front of you, where on entering you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever yet sat. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ you shall say this: ‘The Lord has need of it.’” 32 So those who were sent went away and found it just as he had told them. 33 And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?” 34 And they said, “The Lord has need of it.” 35 And they brought it to Jesus, and throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. 36 And as he rode along, they spread their cloaks on the road. 37 As he was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives—the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, 38 saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” 39 And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” 40 He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”

41 And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, 42 saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. 43 For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side 44 and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”

May God Bless the Reading of his Holy Word.

 

 

So, Jesus and his disciples finished up in Jericho and they left. They started the 15-mile trek up from Jericho to Jerusalem. And they came upon Bethany and Bethpage. Bethany was approximately 2 miles outside of Jerusalem. Bethany was also where Mary, Martha and Lazarus lived, so Jesus would have been very aware and familiar with the area.

Outside of Bethany, leading to Jerusalem was the Mount of Olives, and from here Jesus was overlooking Jerusalem. This would have been the road down into Jerusalem. As he came to this spot, he paused.

Here, Jesus came and showed off his prophetic skills. He went and orchestrated the fulfillment of prophecy. He showed those around him that He know what was going on. That he had orchestrated it all. That he had it all set up.

He was the one who fulfilled all the prophecies. He was the one who made all the prophecies.   He was the one all the prophecies were about. Now, in his human form, there were two forms of prophecy. There were passive prophecies, that his human form he had no control of. This would include things like being born in Bethlehem. Jesus in human form had no control over where he was born.

But here we see Jesus actively cause a prophecy to be fulfilled. This is the other side. He tells them to go into the village, maybe Bethpage (?) and to get a colt that would be tied up in a specific spot. And it kind of seems very Cloak-and-dagger. He tells his disciples, if someone asks you why you are untying this colt, here’s the Password: The LORD has need of it.

And it worked. They went to untie the colt. Someone asked why, and they said: The LORD has need of it. And the people that were asking them let the disciples take the colt up to Jesus. So not only did what Jesus tell them come true, which was neat. But He also ended up fulfilling OT prophecy as well.

The colt was brought to Jesus and Jesus was then presented as an arriving King to those who were watching him head into Jerusalem. Zechariah 9:9 says:

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your king is coming to you;
righteous and having salvation is he,
humble and mounted on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

 

          In Fulfilling this prophecy, in riding into Jerusalem on a colt, Jesus is making it clear and public that he is claiming to be the Messiah. One study note says this: This entry into Jerusalem fulfills prophecy and is a public claim to messiahship, but of a distinctive kind. The donkey is the animal of a man of peace and is associated with humility in Zechariahs prophecy. A conquering king would ride a horse.

          The other Gospels make clear that this was a colt of a donkey. And that’s important because of the prophecy. I also saw another note that correlated that David would have ridden a donkey back when he was King and that the conquering King riding a horse was a more recent historic development at that point, may be when the Greeks had conquered much of the lands. So, in that case, Jesus would have been associating his messiahship with the reign of King David.

So, he was coming as the Messiah, and publicly claiming to do so. But he wasn’t coming as the messiah they expected. Instead, he was coming as the exact messiah that was planned and promised.

They expected him to be that conquering King. They expected and wanted him to militarily and politically overthrow the Roman occupation of Israel. They wanted an earthly King, ruling over Israel in the vein of David.

Many were expecting Jesus to be this man. We saw last week that Jesus had to remind them and teach them that he was not inaugurating the kingdom when he entered Jerusalem. They didn’t learn and didn’t care. WE see them this week, as he is riding the colt into Jerusalem, the crowds, the disciples, whoever else was involved, shouting things like Hosanna, in the other Gospels. Shouting “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” 

          This harkens back to the night of Jesus birth. In the fields with the shepherds, the Angels sang out, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”[d]

                        And we also will end up seeing similar responses from the Roman Authorities that Herod had at that time. The Wisemen came, telling how this baby fulfilled the prophecies and would be the King of the Jews. In response to that, Herod had many innocent boys slaughtered to protect his power, his authority, and the status quo.

Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a colt, fulfilling prophecy and was being hailed as the King, the Messiah that the Jews had been waiting for. In response to that, The Roman, and Jewish, authorities had Jesus crucified to protect their power and authority and the status quo.

The crowds and Jesus disciples expected Jesus to be the Messiah they expected and wanted and so they welcomed him as such. This crowd very likely included Bartimaeus, the blind man that Jesus healed outside of Jericho. The crowd likely would have included Zacchaeus, who joyfully received Jesus inside of Jericho. It likely would have included Lazarus, who Jesus brought from death to life. IT likely would have included Nicodemus, though he might not have been as loud and vocal as the rest of the crowds.

Now, we see the Pharisees say something here and before we look at that, I really want to set the scene for you here.

Jerusalem, approx. 33 AD. Jewish land under Roman military occupation. The week leading up to Passover. Because of this, there would have been a huge influx of Jewish people coming from all over Israel to Jerusalem for that week. Historically, there had already been many clashes between Roman soldiers and the Jewish people. There had been real and perceived insurrections and acts of sedition. There had been real and perceived abuses of power and punishment, with real and perceived over exertion of brutality. The Roman soldiers in Jerusalem would have been on extremely high alert. The tension in the air was palpable. You could feel the tension simmering just under the surface, waiting, like a powder keg, for that one spark to set things off.

Now, I tell you that so that, when we read what the Pharisees have to say, we stop and think about it. Our surface level reading is that they were upset that the people were seeing him as the Messiah and proclaiming him as such. And that very well may have been the case.

But it also could have been something else, just as simple. The Pharisees told Jesus to quiet his disciples. Their reasoning could have been less, “He’s not the Messiah!” and could have been more, “Don’t Give the Romans more reason or excuse to come down on us!”

Their thinking could have been, lets keep this all calm and quiet like. Don’t get all joyous, rambunctious, riotous. Quit rocking the boat!

More likely it could have been a combination of the two, in my opinion.

 

So, Jesus responds, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out!

Now, most commonly, you will hear that this means that Jesus, as God, is going to be worshipped no matter what. If the people don’t recognize him and cry out in worship, then nature itself will cry out in worship. For this is his creation as well. God is not just a God of Man. He is not just the creator of Man, but he is the God of and the Creator of all of nature, all the planet, all of space, all of the universe.

Jesus is not only the King of the Jews, not only King of mankind, But king of all creation, King of all the Cosmos.

In this way, RC Sproul wonders about the similarities between this Genesis 4:10 where God says that Abel’s shed blood has been crying out to him. Literal? Poetic? Could be…

Now, the other option for the meaning of what Jesus said, or more likely, an additional layer to what Jesus said also exists. The idea is that the phrase, “the stones cry out,” is a reference to destruction and judgment.  Historically we see this in Habakkuk, I believe as well. And this would fit the upcoming contexts in verses 42 & 43. In that, Jesus is prophesying about the upcoming destruction of Jerusalem that would occur in 70 AD, less than 40 years from when Jesus would have said this.

 

Jesus said these things, and he came upon Jerusalem. He was overlooking it before entering it. He looked upon it. And he wept. He wept for Jerusalem. He wept because he knew what was coming. He wept, not for himself, but for the city. And for the people who thought that they knew.

The pharisees in verse 39 wanted to keep the peace.  The people of Israel thought that getting rid of the Romans would bring peace. Jesus knew that the road they were on would bring destruction and death. Jesus wanted them to know true, everlasting peace. Peace beyond understanding.

If we persist on rejecting Christ, on pursuing worldly power, authority, and the worldly means of gaining them, that it will become permanent. We won’t have a choice anymore. And so that s why we see throughout the scriptures the constant call to choose now.

Jesus came to this earth and the people had a lot of expectations. Jesus didn’t meet any of them. He exceeded all of them.

Jesus entered Jerusalem as a King, but Humbled.

Jesus entered Jerusalem as a King but going to die.

Jesus entered Jerusalem as a King but grieving over the future of Jerusalem.

When he comes back, bringing with him the New Jerusalem, He will be King, and he will be exalted. He will be King, and he will slaughter his enemies. He will be King, and he will bring perfection, redeeming his people for an eternal future in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Lets Pray

Luke 19:11-27 Jesus is the Son of Man Investing the Gospel

Luke 19:11-27

Jesus is the Son of Man

Investing the Gospel

 

Please grab your Bibles and turn with me to Luke chapter 19. As I continue to say, if you do not have a Bible, if you do not own a Bible, please see me after the service and we can get one onto your hands.

Continuing through Luke’s Gospel this morning, we are at the conclusion of Jesus journey to Jerusalem. Next Week in our series, he rides onto Jerusalem for the last week of his life. This was a journey that started way back towards the end of Luke chapter 9.

And through that journey, Jesus entire focus has been on the Kingdom of God. Everything, his teachings, his healings, his miracles, all of it. All designed to focus his followers on the coming kingdom of Heaven.

We have seen on this journey, many who have become citizens of the kingdom of Heaven, including just last week as we looked at Zacchaeus and his becoming a new creation. As we finished up with Zacchaeus last week, listen to the words of Jesus in verses 9 & 10. “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

 

          This declaration leads directly into our passage this week, Jesus last teaching before entering Jerusalem. We are going to read Luke chapter 19, verses 11 through 27. Ill be reading out of the English Standard Version and I encourage you to follow along in your preferred translation.

Luke 19:11-27, Luke, inspired by the Holy Spirit writes:

 

As they heard these things, he proceeded to tell a parable, because he was near to Jerusalem, and because they supposed that the kingdom of God was to appear immediately. 12 He said therefore, “A nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and then return. 13 Calling ten of his servants,[a] he gave them ten minas,[b] and said to them, ‘Engage in business until I come.’ 14 But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We do not want this man to reign over us.’ 15 When he returned, having received the kingdom, he ordered these servants to whom he had given the money to be called to him, that he might know what they had gained by doing business. 16 The first came before him, saying, ‘Lord, your mina has made ten minas more.’ 17 And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant![c] Because you have been faithful in a very little, you shall have authority over ten cities.’ 18 And the second came, saying, ‘Lord, your mina has made five minas.’ 19 And he said to him, ‘And you are to be over five cities.’ 20 Then another came, saying, ‘Lord, here is your mina, which I kept laid away in a handkerchief; 21 for I was afraid of you, because you are a severe man. You take what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.’ 22 He said to him, ‘I will condemn you with your own words, you wicked servant! You knew that I was a severe man, taking what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow? 23 Why then did you not put my money in the bank, and at my coming I might have collected it with interest?’ 24 And he said to those who stood by, ‘Take the mina from him, and give it to the one who has the ten minas.’ 25 And they said to him, ‘Lord, he has ten minas!’ 26 ‘I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 27 But as for these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slaughter them before me.’”

 

Thus says the Word of God

Jesus tells those around him one more parable before they leave Jericho and go on up to Jerusalem. And I love these parables in Luke’s Gospel where Luke tells us the why and the purpose of the parable before he shares the parable. It takes a lot of the guess work and confusion out of trying to understand it.

The people who were watching Jesus, following Jesus and hearing Jesus had a great misunderstanding. They thought the kingdom that Jesus was teaching them about and pointing to was appearing immediately. IT appears that they assumed that upon His arrival in Jerusalem, they expected him to be established and inaugurated as King and would free Israel from Roman occupation.

And so, to dispel some of those expectations, Jesus tells them a parable. Do you know in TV shows, especially police procedurals, sometimes they claim that a particular show or plotline is based on true events? Ripped form the Headlines! They sometimes say. It doesn’t mean that they are telling the true story, but that they were inspired to use the true events as a basis for the story they wanted to tell.

That’s kind of what Jesus did here with this parable. We are not going to get into the history too much this morning, but the outline of the parable would have been immediately recognizable to the Jewish crowd as an event that happened almost 30 years prior, when King Herod the Great died and part of his kingdom was left to one of his sons.

But the details were slightly different as this story was about Jesus himself. A man was taking over authority and ownership as a King over that territory. However, to do so, he had to leave that territory for a time. As he was getting ready to do so, he left it in the hands of some of his most trusted servants.

We see this not only in the historical situation that I mentioned, but we see that this is going to be fulfilled in Jesus as well.  In Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection he is taking ownership and being granted authority over his Kingdom. Then he ascended into heaven, leaving his earthly kingdom. As he was about to ascend, he gave us the Great Commission, leaving the responsibility of his Kingdom in the hands of his servants. So, in very real ways, this parable is about us, believers in Jesus Christ, his servants as we wait for his return.

In the parable, the king gives his servants resources so that they could go about continuing his business while he is gone. And he gives them each the same resource, each servant gets 1 mina. This is one of the things that makes this story different than the well-known parable of the talents that we find in Matthew 24. They have some similarities and some similar phrasings, but the ultimate point and the set up are different.

In the parable of the talents, the servants are given different amounts of gifts and talents based on what they will do with them. One was given 10, one 5, etc. It is to show that we all have different spiritual gifts, talents and abilities that we can use for God, and that we are to use what he has given us, not compare us to what he has given to others.

In this parable, each servant is given 1 mina, about three months’ worth of wages. Each servant is given the same thing. The point of this is not to do more or less based on what we are given, but to be faithful. This parable is not that he has given us each different gifts and abilities, but that he has given us all the same mission, all the same resource, the Gospel.

Our job, until he returns is to be faithful and to invest what he has given us. Now, before we get into whether the servants invest their resources well, we see that not everyone was a faithful servant. There were many who were living in the kingdom of the parable, who hated the king.

Now, some of the phrasing can get a little confusing… The kingdom mentioned in this parable is not the kingdom of heaven in that citizens of the kingdom are believers who will be in heaven. Instead, the kingdom is this world, our earthly home where Jesus is still the king and all who live on earth are citizens of it. Jesus is King, he is creator, he has all authority over earth. But not all here today on this earth accept his authority. Some, maybe many hate that He claims to be their King. They reject his authority, and they rebel against Him. The good news is that he reigns whether they accept him or not. The good news is that He reigns whether they like it or not.

Jesus will deal with them later on…

TO make this simple, we are living between verses 14 & 15. Verse 15 shows that when the master returns, he will call his servants to give an account for how well they invested their resources while he was gone. At the Second Coming, Jesus will return, and he will have his servants stand and give an account.

As believers, we will still stand before him and give an account for our actions, for our sins, and for our faithfulness. Now, to be clear, and I’ll say it many different times in many different ways, e will not give an account in order to see whether we get into heaven or whether we deserve to get into heaven or if we have earned entrance into heaven. But we will give an account as to whether we have been faithful to what he has called us to and what he has enabled us to.

Again, all believers will have perfect eternal life in communion with God in Heaven. That is not at question in this parable. That is not a point the parable is trying to make or to undercut.

But there is one thing that we don’t talk a lot about, because I don’t think a lot of us understand it. I know I don’t understand it very well. But the Bible says it in enough different places that we have to look at it. Not all believers, when they enter heaven, will hear, “Well done, Good and faithful servant…” All believers enter heaven, but there will be different levels of rewards and responsibilities and things like that. Not less perfect, because its all-in eternal heaven, in perfect paradise. But things will be different based on our earthly service and faithfulness. The Bible speaks in it numerous times; Matthew 6:20, 1 Cor 3, specifically verses 8, 14 & 15, 1 Timothy 6:17-19, just to name a few and to show I’m not making this up. Again, I don’t fully understand it, but we can’t just ignore something the Bible speaks on, especially that often.

We see with the three servants that Jesus points out here in this parable an example of that. Remember that all servants were given the same amount, the same resource, one mina. And the first servant, he says, your mina has grown into 10 minas. He invested it well and it was almost as if it took over and did all the work on its own. Almost like we plant the seed, but the LORD brings the increase. The Gospel does all the work all by itself, if we are faithful to spread it and invest in it and live it and share it. He is both praised and rewarded by Jesus.

The second is close to the first. He is faithful. The 1 mina he received grew to 5 minas, again, almost as if on its own. Jesus rewarded this servant as well, though not quite to the same level as the first. But the principal is the same, those who were faithful with little, will be entrusted with a lot.

Now Jesus comes to the third servant. And he comes to Jesus and gives him his 1 Mina back to him. He tells Jesus, I dint want to waste your resources. I didn’t want to lose what you gave me. I kept it to myself so that I could give it right back to you since it was yours. He kept it under a bushel! He didn’t labor, he didn’t conduct business. He didn’t let the money multiply itself.

The Master rips into him. He uses his words back at him. Jesus will use our own words, our own attitudes, our own actions when confronting us and condemning us from our sins. And Jesus tells him, you could have done something minimal, requiring almost no effort on your part. IN that context, you could have put it in the bank so it could have at least made interest. In our context. At least live your life as a Christian, don’t give in and live just like the rest of the world and society. Even if you weren’t going to go out and invest in the Gospel, you don’t have to actively hide the fact that you are a believer. At least do the absolute minimum so that the work of the Gospel would still have a chance to replicate. Instead of burying it or hiding it.

And so, Jesus rebukes him and tells him that even what he had will be taken from him. Rewards will be withheld from you. Those rewards that would have gone to you will be reallocated to those who were faithful and were mentioned earlier. IF you are unfaithful with a little, you will lose what little you had.

Now, some see this third servant as an unbeliever, or as someone who was playing church. Someone who knew the role to play but was never really a believer. And that is possible. But to me, the way it reads, this man is saved. He is a servant of Christ. But he is saved with no reward. Salvation is not based on our faithfulness. Salvation is based solely on the grace of God alone. We are sinful. We are unfaithful. We are prone to wander. And yet, Paul writes in 2 Timothy 2:13: if we are faithless, he remains faithful— for he cannot deny himself.

In my eyes, these three servants and their interaction with the Master, this is all an in-house discussion if you will, amongst believers in the church. Another part of that reason is that there is another group of people that the Master will know deal with. The third servant is not lumped in with this next group.

In verse 27, The Master turns his attention to those mentioned back in verse 14. Those who were the enemies of the King. They were the ones who rebelled against him. Who rejected his authority? They are those who chose not to be a part of His Kingdom. He says bring them to me. They will be slaughtered.

God is a God of Love. We do not deny that. In fact, we embrace that, and we bank on that. But he is not only a God of love. He is a God of Justice. He is a God of Holiness. He is a God of wrath. All perfectly and all balanced with each other.

WE are all born as those who reject the King and rebel against him. All of us, in our own nature are these men. By Gods grace, through the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross, his death, burial and resurrection, he has purchased our forgiveness and offers it and salvation to any who believe, who turn to him, trust him and repent of their sins. He offers free for all who believe.

Bu those who choose to continue to reject Him. Those who continue to rebel against his authority, they will not receive eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven. They will not receive the peace of God. Instead, they will face eternal judgment. They will face the deserved and earned punishment for their sins. They will receive the full wrath of God.

Jesus shows this to John who describes it in Revelation 14:9-11:

And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, 10 he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. 11 And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.”

OF course, it is plain to see that eternity in Heaven, even with no extra rewards, is infinitely better that eternal wrath and judgment.

 

As Jesus is telling this parable to those who are around him, at this point in Luke’s Gospel, Jesus time on this earth is close to an end. The people around him needed to make a decision. They had heard all that Jesus had said, all that he taught. They had seen or heard of all the miracles and the healings. They were presented with all the information. They needed to make a decision.

Now, Jesus’ time away is close to end. No one knows the day except the father, but it’s close to coming to an end. We have been presented with all the information needed. Now it is time for us to make a decision.

First, if you have not, receive Christ Joyfully, like we saw last week with Zacchaeus. Call out to Jesus, the Son of David, like we saw the week before with Bartimaeus.

Second, and only after the first, because with out the first, the second has no point, it has no effect. Second, work towards being a good and faithful servant.

Kent Hughes is the one who calls this “investing in the Gospel.”

He writes:

Are we investing in the Gospel? Are we investing what he has done for us? Are we investing what he can do for others? This is not a question of giftedness but of faithfulness. Are we using what we have to invest in the ministry of the gospel? There are many specific applications of this question. Are we using our money to invest the good news? Jesus minced no words about this: “I tell you, make friends for yourself by means of unrighteous wealth, so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal dwellings” (Luke 16:9). Your money personally given to aid people in need or to promote evangelism and missions will win souls, eternal friends who will welcome you into Heaven! How do you spend your time? Your personal calendar tells all. Everyone can make massive investments in the matter of prayer, but few do. Do your mouths, the things we say, invest testimony and witness? There can never be such a thing as a passive investment. Gospel investment requires action.

 

Number 1, above, determines our eternal destination, our salvation. Receive Christ, cry out to him. Trust in Him for the forgiveness of sins.

Number 2 above affects what it looks like in our already determined eternal destination. I will finish up with a quote from JC Ryle who summed it up best: Our title to heaven is all of Grace. Our degree of Glory in heaven will be proportioned to our works.

 

Let’s Pray.